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This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

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General Woodworking

Painted Finish With Age

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 4:30am
In the article just released to 360 subscribers, I build and finish a large Shaker Cupboard from the Enfield, Conn. community. The piece, which I can now cross off my bucket list, has a painted finish. When you hear “painted” you most likely think easier. While there are a few steps made easier, I think […]

almost a crisis.........

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 04/24/2015 - 12:57am
For the last year or so I've been drinking my coffee ½ regular and ½ decaf. I do this to appease my doctor who doesn't want me drinking more than one cup a day.  I told her that will happen when pigs sprout wings and start flying. I use K-cups which makes doing my mixing very easy and I usually go through about 30-40 or  so cups a week at work.

Today after I got out of work,I  made a few stops trying to find some decaf K-cups.  I stopped at two supermarkets and Wally World looking for them. I can get Dunkin' Donuts decaf K-cups but that stuff is about as strong as colored water. I wasted all this time running around and came up empty handed. The kicker was the comment from a sales associate at Wally World.

I asked her why there weren't any decaf K-cups? She replied that they sell out pretty quickly. I said it looks like a lot faster then the regular. Have you thought of increasing the decaf stock. Oh, no, we only sell what we get. Obviously the sell and demand equation is way above her understanding. I'll have to wait until the weekend to get some deaf K-cups.

hard to see them
 I sawed and planed the button mortise plugs flush. I put some putty on them and they almost disappeared. The final look will come tomorrow when I sand them.

two projects here
This is part of a trestle leg assembly for a table. I'm thinking of sawing a piece of it off and making a set of winding sticks with it. That may not happen because this wood is ash or a real crappy looking red oak. I don't think that is a good choice for winding sticks. But it it the only wood I have that is thick enough and I got an itch to make something.

The other project involves moving my 6" jointer and sticking it in the boneyard (I haven't used it in over a year). The hole that will be left over after that I'll put in a sharpening station in it. I have the table top and I can use the trestle legs but I'll probably use 2x6's or maybe 4x4 posts for the base. I have a lot to do with the dinning room table but I can't help looking around for something else to do in the interim.

sawing to OAL
I've been thinking of this all day. I did not want to screw this up with a stupid mind fart(furz, pedo, scoreggia, prut, pet, wind, rhech). I sawed all of them on the waste side of the pencil line.

shot the ends square removing the pencil lines
marked up
I ran the knife line all around and they all met which tells me I'm square. After I got the knife line extended I used the respective mortise gauges and marked the tenons.

made the walls
I was started to rush myself here and that usually means a mistake is coming. I quit here for the night as I have  plenty of time to do this now. Tomorrow I'll be able to get all the tenons done and fitted. Then I'll get my wife to give me a hand and I'll do a dry fit. If nothing else happens I should be able to at least get the base glued up. I'll be thinking happy thoughts on this.

accidental woodworker  50 days to go

trivia corner
What largely unknown role did William Dawes and Samuel Prescott play in American history?
answer - they accompanied Paul Revere on his midnight ride to warn the colonists that the British were coming

It’s Bender’s Fault

The Furniture Record - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 10:24pm

No, in this instance I am not referring to Bender Bending Rodriguez, irrepressible star of the hit TV series Futurama.

Not this Bender.

Not this Bender.

Or John Bender as played by Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club, the 1985 John Hughes film.

Not this Bender either. Though, similar hair.

Not this Bender either. Though, similar hair.

I am referring to Charles (Chuck) Bender, one of the leading period furniture makers in southwest Ohio. He used to be one of the leading period furniture makers in southeast Pennsylvania but he moved. He is late of the Acanthus Workshop and now a founding partner of 360 Woodworking.

A few years back I signed up for the inlaid stand class with Freddy Roman at the Acanthus Workshop. Problem was that I was the only person that signed up. Mr. Bender and I discussed it and decided not to make Mr. Roman to come down to teach a class for one person.

Our compromise was for me to come north and spend a week hanging out and working on skills related to making the inlaid stand. In other words, he would be my friend for a week if I paid him. Since this is the arrangement I have with many other “friends”, I readily agreed. This was not true when I was younger. Back then, my parents paid.

One day, Mr. Bender had some real work to do and left me alone in the back room with some veneers to lay up a cross banded top as if I were making the inlaid stand. I discovered I enjoyed working with veneer and cross banding. It’s like working a puzzle only with sharp tools and tape.

Come forward to present day and I suddenly was presented with the opportunity to do some more cross banding. The drawer front from the curved front wall cabinet (see yesterday’s post) needs to be 1 3/4″ thick. Since a 2 by 12 is only 1 1/2″ thick, I glued up my drawer front from two 7/8″ blanks. When the curve was sawn into the drawer front, the curve ended up crossing the glue line exposing both halves, the glue line  and the differences between the halves in grain and color. It looked odd.

It occurred to me that this would be a good place to use some veneer. Just glue some veneer and cover my lack of forethought. My next thought was that if cutting and veneering southern yellow pine was absurd, cross banding with southern yellow pine would be even more absurd. Sometimes absurd appeals to me.

Absurd yet oddly compelling.

Absurd yet oddly compelling.

Southern yellow pine is not the easiest wood to work with but it is possible. Light wood is extremely soft and the darker wood is harder and a bit on the brittle side. Challenging but if we were looking for easy we would all be (insert your least favorite activity here).

Cautionary tale.

The dark areas are burn through. Instead of vacuum bagging as I was taught, I was in a hurry and clamped it, badly. I used the cut offs to clamp the outer two-thirds and applied insufficient pressure to the center allowing the hot hide glue to accumulate in the center and bubble up unevenly. Sanding revealed my lack of technique as the congealing glue came oozing through the thinned wood.

Like many other things I’ve done, it started as a woodworker’s inside joke and turned out better than I thought. Then I get annoyed that I didn’t do it better although I didn’t set out to do it well. Some woodworking pundit recently wrote about always doing your best work. On some level he was right.

I’m still not going to build my jigs and templates from Baltic birch.

Or put a finish on them.

I made another drawer front this time leaving the front section as thick as possible and only adding enough wood to the back to make up the 1 3/4″ thickness. It turned out much better.

In that a southern yellow pine drawer can ever turn out well.

In that a southern yellow pine drawer can ever turn out well. Would have been nice if i could have centered the grain pattern. It’s a prototype…

And I made enough pine veneer to open my own IKEA.

Using a 14

Using a 14″ Rikon bandsaw with a 3/8″, 4 TPI blade set up as per Michael Fortune. No measurable drift.

Colonial Williamsburg Hay Cabinet Shop Tour (part 2)

Wood and Shop - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 6:15pm

In the above video I share the second part of my recent visit to the 18th century Anthony Hay Cabinet Shop at Colonial Williamsburg here in my home state of Virginia. (Make sure to subscribe here so you don’t miss the following parts).


Did you miss part 1? Click here to watch it!


Below are a few of the photographs from my visit to the Anthony Hay cabinet shop at Colonial Williamsburg:


















Click here to subscribe to Joshua’s future videos & articles!

Adventures From The Shellac Archive — Lost Treasures, Part 1

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 5:37pm

I realize with no small element of chagrin that between all the activities drawing on my time, energy, and concentration, I have been remiss in carrying forward the Shellac Archive (it seems as though I have posted only 10 of the documents from my collection, which at least volumetrically, leaves more than 95% to go). I will soon strive to make its nurturing a regular part of the Blog. My personal archive has now taken up residence with us in the mountains, so I can resume the scanning and editing of it for dissemination to you.
This reality was struck home to me this week as I was trying to find a particular picture I needed as I near the finish line for the upcoming HO Studley exhibit. As is my wont when I am weary, I just let my mind wander, and in concert with that began to browse the voluminous folders of images on my compewder. While doing so I ran across several hundred pictures I had taken many years ago, recording the pages of long forgotten academic theses from one of the nation’s great universities.
The titles are self explanatory, but the depth and breadth of the contents are not.
The Manufacture of Shellac Paint

Deterioration of Bleached Shellac With Age

Dewaxing of Shellac

Deterioration of Bleached Shellac With Age (different than the previous listing)

Some Studies on the Effect of Storage on Shellac

Plasticization of Shellac

A Study of the Methods for Determining the Properties of Shellac

A Study of the Solubility of T.N. Shellac in Aqueous Sodium Carbonate Solutions


I will post these theses, but not until tell you the amazing tale of how they came into my possession, thanks to the conscientious generosity of two determined archivists. It is a tale of worldwide fascist ambitions, flourishing scholarship in an unlikely time (ultimately abandoned and discarded), and finally the overcoming of a pronounced phobia to reclaim them.

Stay tuned.

Curly Maple Counter Top

She Works Wood - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 4:24pm
So not much woodworking has transpired in the kitchen remodel .. lots of carpentry, but no real woodworking. But now I get to use some of my woodworking skills. We’ll be installing a raised counter section intended for guests to sit behind while visiting.  This awesome piece of curly maple is going on top for folks to […]
Categories: General Woodworking

I got a reprieve.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 04/23/2015 - 1:24am
Or I should say that I don't know how to count. In my defense I will say that the number was over twenty and I make mistakes when I run out of fingers and toes. Higher math was never my forte. I talked to my daughter last night and she is moving on the 16th of June. She is paying a premium to have a locked in day the movers will arrive and pack her out.  The 16th is a tuesday so that means I can deliver the table on 13th or 14th. There is no way I am driving around Boston on a week day.

I now have 51 days to complete the table. I took yesterday off from the table build and today is Master Woodworking class day so I didn't get a lot done in the shop but I did do a few things. I'll get back on track with this thursday or maybe friday.

my latest obsession toy via the USPS
At one time I couldn't understand why some guys collected so many of the same toy. Now I can. I don't need this panel gauge but I saw this on the Jim Bode tool site for $49 and I bought it. Why? Because I had to have it before someone else snagged it. It was waiting for me when I got home. And I'm looking to get another one and another one and......

next to it's smaller cousin
I bought the smaller one in the back last year(?) for $19 and it is very similar to the new old one. Both beams are about the same length and both have a angled piece of brass in a rabbeted head.

some metal
The new old panel gauge has a piece of metal between the beam and the brass thumb screw. The other panel gauge has the screw tightening on the wooden beam. You can see all the scars up and down the beam from the repeated tightening of the screw. This new old beam doesn't have the scars of the other one.

one is MIA - can't find it
I have 4 panel gauges now. Two manufactured ones and two that I made (one of those is toast). The white one I made out of  maple and the beam is 32" long. (I tend to over build things.) I also didn't put a rabbet in the head as I didn't see the need for it. I can't tell a difference in using this one or one of the others with the rabbet.

keep it tight against the edge and it works well
To offset not having a rabbet with a brass wear strip, I made the head on my gauge big to provide a large registration face.  The knife I bought from Hamilton Woodworks. One point in favor of this gauge is that it will scribe a line with or against the grain. My smallest panel gauge won't do against the grain and I haven't tried it yet with the one I just got. I'll do that later because now I want to do something on the table.

found some dowels to fill the holes in the leg
I am going to use the corner braces that came with the legs but I'm not going to use the predrilled holes for them. I'm not sure they will line up and I'm not going to use 1/4" lag screws that came with them neither.

found some scrap to fill the button holes in with
With this plugging I know that I don't have to do any more. This is it for button mind farts. And with my reprieve, I don't have to feel rushed and hurried with the remainder of the build.

made a tic mark on my shooting board
I was surprised by how closely these dowels matched after I sawed them. All I used to saw them was a black mark on the shooting board bed. All of the dowels came out within 2 hairs of each other.

barely proud of the surface
I did this as an experiment to see how close I could get these. The dowels being flush or proud of the surface isn't critical here. I will be gluing a piece of wood to the leg covering the dowels. I plugged them just in case when I screwed in the spax screws they would not be screwing into a empty hole.

holes plugged - I'll saw and plane them flush tomorrow
before I mind fart again
I can see myself looking at this knife line, making a wall, and then sawing it off thinking this is the OAL length. It isn't, it's the shoulder length that still needs the tenon added. I marked the OAL now and I'm hoping that I pay attention to it tomorrow when I do the tenons.

Time to go watch Mr Sellers weekly offering.

accidental woodworker  12 days gone   a healthy 51 days to finish the table now

trivia corner
What major baseball player has had his number retired by 3 different teams?
answer - Nolan Ryan  the 3 teams are the California Angels, the Texas Rangers, and the Houston Astros

Hi, I’m Don…

The Furniture Record - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:04pm

Many of us will recognize this as the opening of every episode of The Woodsmith Shop, the TV outlet of Woodsmith magazine. Don is Donald B. Peschke, publisher and founder of August Home Publishing Company. The show is now in its eighth season.

I don’t love everything about the show, at times is seems like a Kreg infomercial, but they do seem to have an arc, as it were. The first few seasons were basic information about setting up and outfitting a shop. Lots of jigs and fixtures and skill building. It wasn’t until the third season that they built their first piece of furniture. I am more likely to build one of their projects than Tommy Mac’s or Scott Phillips’. I don’t agree with all their aesthetic elements but knobs are easy to change.

A few months back, Woodsmith returned to the local public television station. Woodworking shows come and go and then come back. I don’t understand. The only consistent show has been The Woodwright’s Shop and that mostly because they produce it. Season 8, episode 3, the Curved Front Wall Cabinet, looked interesting for the Monday night woodworking group. I have been trying to steer the group back to the furniture track.

As with any group, there are different interests and skill levels. Some prefer shop jigs and accessories. Some are fixated with sharpening. Others, like me, are more interested in furniture. Some are just happy to be out of the house and doing anything related to woodworking.

Not everybody needs more furniture and wants to spend time and money on a project they don’t need. This makes coming up with a group project … challenging. I thought the Curved Front Wall Cabinet would work for the group but I had to sell it. And once I sold it I needed to build at least one. Group dynamics require one person to take the lead and figure things out in advance. Basically, to champion it. Here is the first prototype:

The Curved Front Wall Cabinet in all its glory.

The Curved Front Wall Cabinet in all its glory.

It has a back.

It has a back..

You might notice it’s in pine, southern yellow and white pine. All construction grade and none of the fancy “white wood”. It comes down to cost. If I am going to build several of these, I am going to use an affordable wood. The doors are 7/8″ and the front rails are 1 1/16″ so I needed to use some 2 by lumber. Milk paint can cover a multitude of sins.

Construction is slightly challenging. Nothing esoteric or extreme. Just basic fussy joinery. The doors are coopered, made from staves like barrels. To make things a bit easier, you glue up both doors at the same time on the same form. A wider panel is far easier to handle and get a uniform curve.

One issue I had with Don’s methods is fairing the doors. Being glued up from six, three-inch boards, the front surface of the doors is not smooth. Stylistically a faceted door could work but Don wants you to smooth it. Don uses a block plane. I used my trusty Stanley #7 jointer plane. Could it be that Don doesn’t believe that we all have #7 jointer planes? I could have used my new Lie-Nielsen #8 jointer plane but I hadn’t bought it yet.

I glued up two more door panels just because. This one is glued up from remnants:

Just random boards.

Just random boards.

This one is made from two sections of a 2 X 12 cut apart and glued back together in sequence:

The grain matches more nearly.

The grain more nearly matches.

Tomorrow, I’ll explain the alternate drawer shown here:

Why is this drawer differeent?

Why is this drawer different?

Nashua Tool Show, April 2015

Rainford Restorations - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 4:14pm

This past week I made my biannual pilgrimage to the ‘Live Free Or Die Tool Auction’ and tool sale out in the parking lot behind the Holiday Inn in Nashua NH.  I’m glad my schedule worked out that I was able to go on Thursday morning — it was a beautiful day, I saw some friends who were only around on that day and didn’t spend too much money.  Friday morning it was pouring so I briefly stopped by to see some friends from the school but many of the vendors were all packed up.

Let’s take a quick tour of some of the more interesting items I checked out:

The cabinet below from the Union Twist Drill company of Athol Massachusetts (same town that is home to Starrett Tools) looked to be in great shape.

Union Twist Drill, Athol MA cabinetUnion Twist Drill, Athol MA cabinet

Inside the cabinet was a nest of drawers which once housed all kinds of drill bits and similar hardware. It was also interesting to see the notes scribbled on the inside of the doors.

Union Twist Drill, Athol MA cabinetInside of Union Twist Drill, Athol MA cabinet

On another table was a nice looking moxon style vise with threaded wood handles. Made from a fairly large bit of timber I like how the maker removed a bunch of wood to make room for an angled saw.

Moxon ViseMoxon Vise

This year I finally got to meet Tony Murland in person. Over the years I’ve bought a lot of wood planes from his shop in the UK — including my matching pair set of hollows and rounds, snipes bills, sash planes and complex molders.  On hand he had a great assortment of French Plumb Squares — some of which had some great decoration on them. I would have loved to get one if I had room in the budget this season for it.

French Plumb Squares from Tony MurlandFrench Plumb Squares from Tony Murland

Casks of cut nails and a nice old tool tote with a dovetailed in handle and interior partitions.

Nail casks and tool toteNail casks and tool tote

Next to a box of saw sets was an old 1980s Ertl Metal ‘Case’ backhoe/loader which was one of my favorite toys as child — and something I had not seen in years. If it was in better shape I might have even picked it up.

1980s Ertl Metal Case Backhoe1980s Ertl Metal Case Backhoe

As always some interesting benches found their way to the show.

Leather apron and benchLeather apron and bench

And here is a nice old tool chest that I spent some time looking at. Constructed with finger joints, this chest had some handsome hardware I wanted to highlight.

Nicely appointed tool chestNicely appointed tool chest

Inside the paneled top there were some great old reference/conversion tables tacked into place.

Reference charts under the lidReference charts under the lid

The corners had some nice brass hardware and all of the screws were carefully clocked (oriented in a specific way) —  I know this makes my OCD happy as it likely will make my friend Chris Schwarz smile as well.

Clocked screws on the brass hardwareClocked screws on the brass hardware

And last but not least was an ‘Elite Tool Chest for Boys’ that was used to haul some wares to the tool show.

'Elite' Tool Chest‘Elite’ Tool Chest

What did I buy this year? Not too much which is probably a good thing. I’m trying to keep to the tools I regularly use and I have a very good working set. Also my tools/wood/toy budget has been saving towards a tractor and building a barn this summer — more on that in some upcoming posts. I bought nice Stanley Bailey transitional jack plane that I’ll be using to clean up some timbers — that wood sole will be a lot easier to use on green timbers. A nice  metal block and tackle with a line lock that will be useful on a gin pole and about a dozen old manual training guides, tool catalogs/reprints and old woodworking texts.

Take care,

Filed under: Tool Reviews Tagged: Alexander Forbes Tool Chest, Anarchist, Anarchist Tool Chest, featured, French Plumb Square, Live Free or Die Tool Auction, Moxon Vise, Nashua, Nashua Tool Show, Plumb Square, Tool Cabinet, Tool Chest
Categories: General Woodworking

Falling Water Bedside Lamp Plans

McGlynn On Making - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 12:07pm

I spent some time searching for a picture of an original lamp — I had to pick through a lot of copies of the lamp from official reproductions to creations by other hobbyists.  I found some decent images on Flicker.  My goal was to confirm that the plans I’ve drawn up were fairly close to the appearance of the original.

Bedroom at Falling Water showing two of the lamps

Bedroom at Falling Water showing two of the lamps

Close up shot of lamp

Close up shot of lamp

I think I’m close enough to capture the same effect as the lamp.  Their is an article on Popular Woodworking on building this lamp, but it doesn’t have the wings on the back, and the shade is attached to the base with biscuits, which I don’t like in this application.  Instead I’m planning on an insert that will be a slip fit into the inside of the shade.

It looks like the original is brass, and the bottom of the shade is black.  I’m not going to try to re-create the brass base, but instead just have a painted wood base.  If you build one of these please send me a picture, I’d love to see your version.  Here are my plans, I’ll pick up the materials for the base after work and see if I can glue up the bases tonight.

(click on image to download plans)

(click on image to download plans)

In the meantime, I put a (probably) final coat of finish on the shades.  If it looks even after it dries I’ll wax them and call it good.



Categories: General Woodworking

Angry Eyes

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 11:28am

There is a common misconception that words, whether spoken or written, are meaningless, and that we should just ignore the insensitive, rude, or stupid comment and chalk it up to “trolling”. Well, I write a publicly open internet blog mostly concerning woodworking, including my projects, and my opinions on the topic. This entire blog is “word based”, as are most blogs. As far as I am concerned, words are pretty important. Words have forged nations, toppled empires, and started wars. Words have recorded world history. Words have moved people to great deeds, and brought ruin to others. Nearly every person on the planet communicates with words, both spoken and written, so yeah, I don’t think words are meaningless by any stretch.

There may be another misconception that I am paid or sponsored to write this blog. For the record, I am not. I receive absolutely nothing in terms of money, goods, or services. I am not a professional writer and I am not a professional woodworker, not even close on both counts. I do not sell anything here. I have done my best to support woodworking products such as books, videos, tools, and magazines that I have enjoyed and thought that others may enjoy. I have done my best to write honest reviews of those things (when I happen to write a review). Once again, I receive no compensation for those reviews, not in the least. In fact, I would go as far as to say that there are reviews that I have written, even though they were favorable, that the individual or company who distributes the product may not care for all that much. To that I say: If that is the case, please feel free to contact me and I will gladly remove the post with no hard feelings whatsoever. I’m not here to generate hard feelings. That being said, sometimes I do generate hard feelings, and sometimes I have them myself.

I’ll say this again because it is worth repeating: I have NEVER gone on another person’s blog or forum, in particular with regards to woodworking, and deliberately insulted somebody in the comment section. I have left comments, and almost always those comments were very innocuous, that were responded to by others in a sometimes not so friendly way. When that happens, and I see it, I will and have responded. Because the internet is filled with “Jack Wagons” as Greg Merritt so eloquently put it, a comment regarding something as simple as a hand plane you happen to like can easily turn into a name-calling, insult fest. If you are one of those people who think that woodworking blogs and forums are immune to that behavior you are woefully misinformed.

For my own part, if I feel the need to say something that may be considered “controversial” I do it on my own blog. The way I see it, another person’s blog is not the place to rant; there may be people who happen to read that blog who don’t particularly want to read somebody else’s ramblings. That is why I do it here, because there is no chance that somebody will accidentally read something they do not want to read. Otherwise, I freely admit that on my own blog I may say some things that other people don’t care for, or I may have an opinion that is not popular. Because I read a fair amount of blogs on woodworking and other topics, I sometimes read things that I don’t agree with. If I read something that is open to debate that I happen to disagree with, there are times I will comment. Once again, I do my very best to keep my comment civil and fair. If I read something that I completely disagree with, to the point that I may even become angry with it, I do the smart thing and leave no comment at all. There are some blog writers out there who want to generate controversy and a heated discussion on the comment board. They generally aren’t the problem, it’s the other commenters who are. So, rather than get into what I know will be a long, drawn out war of words, I avoid it completely.

The other day, I wrote a post about an exchange I had with a commenter on Popular Woodworking Magazine’s web page. There are people who didn’t agree with my handling of the situation, which is fine. I handled it in what I felt was an appropriate manner. Maybe the problem wasn’t with how the situation was handled, but the fact that I discussed it on the blog. Once again, I have no problem with that. But I do have a problem with explaining myself. As I said to a commenter the other day, there are things I write on this blog that I am serious about, and others that I am not. I leave it up to the people who read the blog to figure out the difference. That may confuse some people, and rightly so, but “it is what it is” as the cliché goes. A while back I wrote a post about the “Paul Sellers Controversy”, where he made a statement concerning woodworkers who use power tools. Was I really “outraged” at Paul Sellers? The answer is: “no, not even the tiniest atom sized bit of outrage”. But I will tell you what did bother me; afterwards, when the woodworking forums turned into an insult-filled, name-calling festival among those who both agreed and disagreed with Sellers. I took a lot of flak for that post, not only in the comment section, but much more so in emails. I spent far too much time explaining the point I was trying to make: I had nothing against Sellers one way or the other. At the time, I was only vaguely aware of him, and I read his comments second hand on another forum. I had a huge problem in that every “Jack Wagon” who read Seller’s post used it as an excuse to be a “Jack Wagon”.

We all have a right to an opinion, and he has a right to say what he likes on his on forum, just as I have the same rights on mine. I like to say that any opinion should at least be an informed opinion, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Either way, had myself or Sellers charged a fee to read our respective blogs because they contained a specific content that was expected with each entry, and then decided to change the format, then complaints would be warranted. But that is not the case with my blog, Sellers blog, or many, many others. However, it’s one thing to say on your blog or forum that you don’t like cheaply made tools or furniture; it’s another thing to tell people not to buy them, and it goes even farther when you make statements such as “The people who buy cheap tools and furniture are ruining woodworking!”. Your typical “Jack Wagon” who reads statements such as that suddenly has a whole lot of ammo to fire around the nasty comments and more importantly, they feel that their nasty comments have been validated.

So when it comes down to it, if you think I’m the “bad guy”, I don’t care. I’m finished with explaining myself or my style of writing. If you get it, and get what I am trying to say, I’m happy to interact with you even if you may not always agree. If you don’t get it, I can’t help you and I’m done trying. If that makes you angry then tough shit. I know who the “bad guys” are, and there are times I’ve pointed them out subtly and not so subtly. I’m not trying to sway anybody’s opinion one way or the other. I’m just putting my opinion out there. I am not leading the horse to water and asking it to drink; that is not why I’m here. I don’t want a flock; I want to interact with people who can think for themselves. Hopefully, there are still a few of you left out there.

Categories: General Woodworking

Our April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner

Highland Woodworking - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 10:01am

hwt49frontHappy Spring! We’ve got a great project-filled April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

This month’s issue includes:

Turning a Garden Dibbler- In this article, Curtis discusses his process for turning a Garden Dibbler, which is used for making perfect holes in the soil to plant seedlings. This makes a great spring project and can be used by kids of all ages!

An Improved Knockout Bar for the Lathe- A knockout bar is a very important accessory for your lathe and in this article, Rick Morris discusses how you can make your own. This design specifically incorporates a slide-hammer into the handle and a brass tip on the striking end for easy and effective use.

When Ordinary Won’t Do- Terry Chapman recently connected with Clark McMullen, a woodturner who makes a living out of turning urns. But his urns are no ordinary urns and they incorporate a variety of design elements that “turn” them into beautiful pieces of art.

Show Us Your Woodturning- This month we are featuring several bowls turned by John F. Hayes Jr, who enjoys using “gnarly” wood that adds a unique design to each of his bowls.

Phil’s Tip- Phil’s April tip is a great one for those who have found it hard to keep their turning wood from drying too quickly while turning over the course of a few days.

All of these stories plus some great product deals and discounts in our April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner.

The post Our April 2015 issue of The Highland Woodturner appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Shooting board

goatboy's woodshop - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 8:32am

small_logo1-80x80 (1)My next main project will be a Sawyer’s Bench, designed by Tom Fidgen and featured in his book The Unplugged Woodshop. He hasn’t done a tutorial on the bench yet, but here is a video where he goes through the design of the bench.

The Sawyer’s Bench is basically a glorified saw-horse. It has a split top for rip cutting, a removable fence for cross cutting, and the configuration of the legs is slightly unorthodox in that two are set at 100° and the other two at 90º. This helps with rip cutting, as it not only provides a visual guide for a square cut, it also ensures that you won’t hit the legs with the saw. If my description is confusing, the video will clear things up.


Anyway, all of this throat clearing brings me to the point of this post. I have already rough dimensioned the cherry I will be using for the project, and I am shortly going to break out the marking gauge and planes to establish my final dimensions, before tackling the joinery. Since I want this project to be 100% unplugged, it occurred to me that I might need some kind of jig or guide when cross cutting for length.


So, from scraps of plywood I found around the shop, I have knocked together a reasonable attempt at a bench hook / shooting board combo.


I began by laminating two boards together for the base, one smaller than the other so that the plane will have something to run up against.



Then I glued on the ‘hook’ to the underside of the base, and laminated two pieces of ply together to make the fence.



Finally I glued the fence to the base assembly, ensuring that it  was perfectly square with the plane guide.





Now I can use it as a bench hook for cross cutting…






…and as a shooting board to ensure perfect squareness.


I might make a mitre block in the future, so that I can shoot 45° as well, but this will do for now.

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Tom Fidgen

ESL Students as Woodworking Role Models

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 6:51am

Don’t ya just hate those woodworkers who seemingly pick up and master new skills effortlessly? (A certain Village Carpenter and Heritage Woodworker come to my mind.) This type of person is truly accomplished in a certain area of the craft then one day decides – seemingly on a whim –  they’re going to learn a whole different branch of it. Next thing you know, they’re incorporating master-level carvings, intarsia, inlays […]

The post ESL Students as Woodworking Role Models appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

With Studley, the Sculptural Details Are Sublime

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 5:15am

You might be getting tired of HO Studley posts, but it is all I am working o these days so it’s pretty much all I have to talk about.  It will all be over soon.

On my final visit to the Studley tool cabinet last October, with the owner’s permission I made a number of silicone rubber molds from the details Studley created and integrated into his masterpiece.  My access to the elements was not perfect, it was an intact artifact hanging on the wall after all, so I chose two part silicone molding putty from Hobby Lobby.  In the past I have used food grade molding putty by the bucketful, but for this project I needed just a bit and the hobby store package was just fine.


Using it is simple, just take equal parts of the two putties and knead them together until the color is uniform.  Then, in the next 15-20 seconds press the wad against the surface you are trying to mold, sit back, and remove a finished and cured mold in a few minutes.


Given the spatial logistics of taking impressions from the tool cabinet, the molds were not perfect but they were useful.  Once I got into the swing of producing the elements for the exhibit  “The Henry O. Studley Tool Cabinet and Workbench” (tickets still  available) I made some first generation beeswax castings from those molds just to see what was needed to come up with something exhibit worthy.




It’s fair to say that all of the castings in the upcoming exhibit were the result of several generations of molds and castings, with many hours spent in refining the representations of the elements under the microscope.  On a project with more available time I might spend a week per element, but in this case I was lucky to carve out a day per element.


Much like picture from the Mars Rover, the whole is often a composite assembled from the disparate pieces.  Even so, these are not perfect but they will allow the exhibit visitors to get a better sense of what Studley made to embellish his masterpiece.




In the end, using the molds for casting some pigmented West System epoxy  and some mother-of-pearl I got results that will convey the grandeur of these elements up-close-and-personal for the exhibit patrons as this panel will be sitting on the replica workbench for touching and examining closely.


As time allows I will detail the process of refining specific elements, with observations about both moldmaking and casting materials useful to the decorative artisan.

Mitered Tenons

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 4:30am
Quite often mortises are cut deep enough in small legs that they overlap. This means that the tenons are going to bump into one another when the piece is assembled. If you don’t bevel, or miter, the ends of the tenons you’ll end up with open joints – and that’s not a good thing. I […]

Scything for breakfast with Chris Evans

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 3:41am
even more scything on the radio! Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

molding iron jig specs.......

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 1:17am
Bob and a couple of people expressed an interest in making my molding iron jig. Have at it and maybe you can kick the tires and make it better. I got the idea for it from I picture I saw in one of my books. That picture had the molding iron on a board and both were clamped down to the bench.

Before I saw this I was trying to sharpen and hone my molding irons by holding it with one hand and trying to do the business work with my other hand. Not a good way to hone molding irons. I then started to clamp the irons directly to my work bench. There had to be a better way to do this.

Since I have now acquired a boatload of molding planes and none of the irons were sharp and honed, I needed something to help me out. Having both hands free to manipulate the sharpening medium while the iron is secured is an absolute must.  And this jig will continued to be used to maintain the irons once (if I ever) I get them all done.

Most of the jig measurements were driven by the molding irons and the scrap wood I had on hand. I wouldn't use plywood for this because it splinters and the grooves and the platform edges won't keep their shapes over time. I wanted to use white oak but I didn't have any scrap large enough. I did have a piece of quartersawn red oak so that is what I used. These measurements are by no means carved in stone but they are what I thought would work for me.

not my favorite spot
When I work at my bench I tend to work mostly in the middle going to the right by the wagon vise. This jig will work in here but it is better secured in the wagon vise.

just fits inside of the wagon vise dog block runners
Got lucky with this and I didn't have cut this 2x4 down to get it to fit in the wagon vise.

10 3/4" long and 3/4" thick by about 3 3/8" wide
This jig is longer than my longest molding iron. This keeps the tang captured in the 'tang slot' no matter how much is sticking out on the platform. All of my moldings irons are within a 1/4" of being the same OAL (over all length).

1/4-20 threaded insert
I used this size because I had a 1" long 1/4-20 PH bolt. You could go smaller here too. You don't need a lot of torque on this screw. An alternative would be to use a jig knob and I thought of that. But in the end I nixed because I didn't want it to get in the way of what I used to sharpen the molding iron.

my lateral stop
This I am going to change. I have 3 beading irons that aren't that wide and with the lateral stop all the way over there is a gap. If I cut the slot all the way to end I would have enough but the back end would now be open. I don't like that idea so I'll make another lateral stop that is enclosed like this but at least a 1/2" longer.

I eyeballed the position of the threaded insert after I had made the lateral stop. I set it with my widest molding plane iron in the jig. At that time it didn't occur to me to check it with my smallest iron in place too.

Another thing I did with the lateral stop was to position it so that inboard edge was up against the back edge of the platform. I didn't want this to be flopping around and moving on me. This way the lateral stop is restricted to a left and right movement.

lateral stop at the extreme left
It doesn't quite make it to the edge of the tang slot. I didn't think that it would be necessary for this to go any further.

panel raising plane iron
I would not sharpen this iron in this jig. It's just to show the positive stop that the lateral stop gives.

lateral stop won't work on this iron
This works somewhat but not totally. The profile of this iron would be off the platform to get to the right upper edge. This is something I just saw tonight when I grabbed this plane and pulled the iron out.. The thin scrap of wood and the clamp is the alternative lateral stop I wanted to show.  My original plan called for this to be up on the body and you would use it to provide a clamp for the business end of the iron.

You can also see the bulk of the clamp may get in the way when sharpening. This is another point for why I like the small profile of the PH screw holding the lateral support. I'll have to revisit this iron and figure a work around for it.

toggle clamp
I have a lot of these clamps leftover from a bunch of table saw jigs I had made years ago. The jigs are history but I saved the clamps. It works very well holding the tang down. I am tugging on the business end of iron and it isn't budging at all.

The tang slot is sized for my largest width tang which is a little over 3/8". The tangs on the molding irons are all over the dial. Some are thin, some are fat, and a few are tapered. Mostly they look like 10 miles of a dirt country road after a rain storm. I made the tang slot a few hairs less than 1/8" deep. I haven't experienced any problems with this slot or the tangs being smaller than it. And I have sharpened and honed about 15 irons in it so far.

an alternative hold down option
This was my first choice for a hold down. Instead of the screw I was going to use a threaded insert and a jig knob. The knob would be far enough away from the business end where it wouldn't get in the way. I saw the toggle clamp when I went searching for threaded inserts and used it instead. The same idea was going to used to hold the business end of the irons instead of the lateral stop I did make.

1/8" set up bar is proud in the slot and on the platform
I left 5/8" on the outboard side of the tang slot. That was to leave some meat that the whole left side of the tang could bear against. I screwed the jig to the 2x4 with coated deck screws. The platform area I removed with a butt mortise plane. You could the same with a chisel or a router plane.

the platform
This measurement is based on my biggest molding iron. I didn't measure it, I just eyeballed it. On my jig I made it 1 1/2". The clamp hold down and the lateral stop are what secure the iron in place. The back of the iron not touching the back of the platform didn't matter at all. With my sharpening and honing I wasn't exerting that much force on the iron to move it backwards (or side ways) at all.

about 2 1/2"
this I'm changing
The jig will drop down in the vise and I get a good range of vertical adjustment that way. I would rather have it tilted a bit towards me and that I can do but only with the very end in the wagon vise up above the runners for the dog block. I'll thin about the bottom 6-8" from 3 1/2" wide down to about 2" wide and see how that works before I trim it again.

I would have done this tonight but I have to go fight the traffic and pick up a package for my wife at FedEx. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow if I think of it. As you can see the jig is easy to make and can be customized to your liking even easier. Re-invent the wheel and if you come up with a better way post it and spread it around.

accidental woodworker who took a table building day off

trivia corner
Of the four Grand Slam tennis trophies, how many are gold and how many are silver?
answer - Wimbledon is the only gold one - the US, French, and Australian Opens are all silver

The Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench – The Unveiling

The Bench Blog - Wed, 04/22/2015 - 1:00am

My lords, ladies and gentlemen, after much ado, I present the Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench. (A Roubo inspired workbench with four Grizzly vises)

The Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench.

The Ambidextrous Grizz-ubo Workbench.

The tree that was used to make this bench, was felled in October 2012.  It was sawn into lumber and stacked to dry the same day.

I first started work on the bench by milling the lumber on March 8, 2014.  The bench was finished on April 17, 2015.

I wanted to take some pictures of the finished bench, so I put it on moving dollies and managed to get it out onto the driveway.

I wonder how long it will stay looking like this?

I’m pleased with the overall design and proportions of the various elements.

Ignore the giant mess in the background.

Ignore the giant mess in the background.

The sapele "pin striping" adds some character to the benchtop.

The sapele “pin striping” adds some character to the benchtop.

This side is technically the front, and the side I'll most often work from.

This side is technically the front, and the side I’ll most often work from.

I love the wavy grain in the sapele.

I love the wavy grain in the sapele.

OK, who want's to lift this back into my shop?

OK, who want’s to lift this back into my shop?

The oak drawbore pegs have darkened up nicely with the finish and add an interesting visual element.

The oak drawbore pegs have darkened up nicely with the finish and add an interesting visual element.

I bought two Veritas planing stops and a vise rack stop from Lee Valley.

Some Veritas goodies that I bought to outfit the bench.

Some Veritas goodies that I bought to outfit the bench.


Some Stats:

I thought I would pull some interesting statistics from my blog over the past year.  If I restrict my search to only posts concerning the workbench build (and not including this post), here are the numbers:

  • Total number of posts – 62
  • Total number of images – 1,058
  • Words written – 69,694  (wow… that’s a novel)
  • Time spent building the bench – 1 year, 1 month, and 9 days.
  • Tools broken – 1 (and I really liked that router)
  • Tools lost – 1 (I still can’t find that stanley folding knife)
  • Dog holes drilled – 84 (132, if you count the holes in the deadmen)
  • Christopher Schwarz’ workbench rules broken – all of them.


More Gratuitous Images:

Here are some more photos showing some of the details of the bench.

The wedged through tenons.

The wedged through tenons.

The tail vise mating up with the dovetailed breadboard end.

The tail vise mating up with the dovetailed breadboard end.

The wavy grain in the Sapele edge.

The wavy grain in the Sapele edge.

The sliding deadman with V-notch that rides on the stretcher.

The sliding deadman with V-notch that rides on the stretcher.

The re-finished Grizzly H7788 vise hardware.

The re-finished Grizzly H7788 vise hardware.

A Lee Valley Vise Rack Stop.

A Lee Valley Vise Rack Stop.

After the bench’s glamour shots, I put it back on the moving dollies and wrestled it back into the workshop.  So here it sits in its final home:

I moved the workbench back into the shop.

I moved the workbench back into the shop.

I feel as though I should mark the bench some how with a makers mark.  I don’t have a brand yet.  A small brass plate engraved with name and dates made might be a good thing to add (so long as I install it somewhere inconspicuous).  I’ll have to look into where I could get one made.

Ready for 100 years of service?

Ready for 100 years of service?


I would like to thank all of you who have commented on my posts over the past year and shared your thoughts, suggestions, and opinions.  Many of them have made me reconsider ideas that I was planning and several of them sent me in wholly new directions.  My bench, and my skill set are undoubtedly better off for your assistance.


Where Next:

Well, I really want to set up my dust collection system properly with rigid ducting;  I have some bench planes that still need restoring; And, I still need to make a shooting board and bench hook for the bench.  Also, the kids want a tree house and the wife wants a chicken coop.  So much for making furniture!

Stay tuned.


– Jonathan White

Shop made Roubo-esque crosscut bow saw

Je ne sai quoi Woodworking - Tue, 04/21/2015 - 11:57pm


This is the second of a working set of bow saws that I am building at present. I decided to use Andre Roubo’s plates as inspiration for this one. If you are interested in this brilliant book by Lost Art Press, check it out here. The final picture in the series below is what I was aiming for.


My bench while all this was going on.


In terms of wood, I thought Assegaai (Curtisia dentata) would be perfect given it’s strength and resistance to splitting when flexed. In the pictures below you can see the pieces I selected. You might be able to see how the grain is running off to the side at one end of both pieces destined for the cheeks. I specifically chose it like this to follow the curve of the top end of the cheek, hence improving the strength.


I used dividers to get a sense of the proportions of Roubo’s saw. One fixed measurement was the length of the saw blade (700 mm) as bought from Dieter Schmidt. I applied the proportions to this starting point to establish the length and width of the cheeks. In terms of the shape I simply drew something that followed the grain and added some artistic je ne sais quoi.


I drilled and chopped the mortises in the cheeks prior to shaping.


With the stretcher in position I marked out the correct location of the holes for the cross pin (6 mm or ¼” steel bolt in this case)




These holes were tapped and countersunk.


Next step was to cut the kerf for the blade.


I used the bandsaw to do the rough shaping.


The lines to guide the next phase of shaping were drawn as shown, using my finger as a fence. It is quick and easy.


The rest of the shaping were accomplished with spokeshaves, files and a card scraper.


I used the same piece of Tamboti as mentioned in my previous post for the spindle of this saw. It was simply a bit bigger.


A quick test fit. I really hope Brian Eve (Toolerable) does not get on my case again with regards to the string I used. I do not even know what this stuff is called, but it is cheap and available so that is what I went for.


Tung oil treatment.


Don’t you think Assegaai is exceptionally beautiful? I do. This saw hums through African hardwood. Viva Monsieur Roubo!!


My next project will be a Fidgenian frame saw. The other saw I have built already is a 12″ bow saw. Go here if you want to take a look.


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by Dr. Radut