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Journeyman's Journal

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This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand
Updated: 6 hours 41 min ago

HANDWORK Vol.1 Issue II Out Now

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 7:00am

HANDWORK is an amatuer woodworking magazine written for all amateurs and professionals alike.  It focuses on handwork and not machine work.  Its filled with modern and historical articles dating back as far as 1889.

Free to download from megasync Vol.1 Issue II

Categories: Hand Tools


Thu, 08/17/2017 - 4:42pm

THE LOST SCROLLS OF HANDWORK will be the new title for our magazine. I paid for it this morning.

All the words won’t fit in one line and would look silly if it did. So I will break it up and have “The lost scrolls of” on top of “HANDWORK.” So HANDWORK name lives on!

Where there is a will, there is always a way.

Tomorrow at midnight the second Issue will be available for download.  You may find grammar errors I may have overlooked, but I’ll get better at it as time goes by.

With any new venture there are always teething problems at first, but my aim is to evolve and mould it to be up there with the best.

I’m always on the hunt for contributing authors. Guys and gals don’t be shy. You may think you have nothing to offer but you’re wrong.  As of late, more and more hand tool blogs have come to life.  Only a few months ago blogs were diminishing and all the marketing gurus had their say about it, but much to their surprise the tide has changed.

Hand tool woodworking has become more popular than machine based woodworking.

The movement for a change of lifestyle and pace has begun.

This revitalisation of hand tools was first introduced by Roy Underhill over 30 years ago, and from it, sprung a variety of craftsmen and women like Mary May, Peter Follansbee, Christopher Schwartz, Paul Sellers and way too many other names to list.

Can I mention little old me with HANDWORK oops, The lost scrolls of HANDWORK.

We’re all playing a part in this revitalisation of hand tool woodworking.

It’s not just a revitalisation but a stance against all the corporate thuggery of so called modernisation and monopolisation of and through mass production.

If they want to title us as tree loving, hugging hippies then so be it. It’s better than the title they carry of cheap plastic loving, hugging, quick buck salesman “Made in China.” tag.

I hope you all like Issue II. A lot of work and many sleepless hours went into it, and I thank again all of our contributors for their hard work, expertise, tenacity, just pure relentless effort and diligence in their contribution towards HANDWORK.  You have not gone unnoticed.

Categories: Hand Tools

The keys to Success

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 5:31pm

Everyone has a desire to do something, to be something, to be someone.  You may not know this, but you have completed the third task the day you were born; You, are Someone.  Everything else has a long steep hill that needs to be climbed to achieve it.
Your desire to achieve this must match your discipline, but the problem with us all is that we want it yesterday.
You can’t have it yesterday nor today, but with every step you take towards it, you will earn it tomorrow.

Life is a giant staircase, you look up it and you think this is too hard, it’s too much work, but you don’t get it.  Life is hard and challenging and life loves to throw obstacles at you and many people fail to meet those challenges and work around those obstacles and fall into depression.  They seek the bottle for relief or take antidepressants.

Brothers and Sisters these are excuses and excuses are lies. It’s the easy way out to self destruction.

Obama once said “Pick yourselves up and dust yourselves off.”

Climb those stairs one step at a time, don’t look up and never look down but concentrate on each step and work towards the top.  You will never transform yourself if you don’t inconvenience yourself.  “No pain, no gain.”

Pick up a square and draw a hundred lines, now pick up that dovetail saw and rip a hundred lines.

Do you get it?

Plane that wood until its flat, plane that edge until its square, then plane it out of square and do it all over again until there is nothing left of it.

Set up goals you want to achieve today and work on nothing but those goals and I guarantee you at the end of that day, you will achieve your goals.

Free yourselves from the shackles of bullsh*t, don’t let the naysayers tell you, you can’t earn a living from the craft.  Don’t let your minds talk you out of
what life has to offer.  It’s all there in front you, you need to reach out and grab it.

Empower yourselves by being the best you can be.  Never ever give up, always work hard towards your goals and give back to the community.  Help one another, teach one another and serve one another.

Categories: Hand Tools

Final word on title

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 3:34am

After so many good suggestions offered I almost chose one until this one came to mind.

The lost scrolls of handwork

I also like quirks and beads and at the workbench but the lost scrolls of handwork is like the forgotten handtools which is exactly what we are trying to revive.

Let me know if you like it. I've already reserved the name but haven't paid for it yet.

Categories: Hand Tools

Re: I need your help

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:21am

Right off the bat thanks to everyone who responded.

Matt offered some really great ones and two stood out the most.

Planes, Chisel and Saw


At The Workbench

The first one is a title from a book my friend Tony Konovaloff wrote so I can’t use that, but it’s great and definitely complements what this magazine’s about

But I equally like At the Workbench and I’ve secured it pending payment which means no one gets it till I make a payment.

I’m still open to suggestions but so far this one seems to be the winner.

It’s a pity ASIC isn’t flexible in these things as HANDWORK is by far the most suitable title but we also work at the bench so it is what it is, but i know it will create some confusion for some people who are not in the know.

This post I’ve written on my phone at work so I’m sure there are some missing commas and periods which my friend Matt will pick up on. But I’m not a text addict like my daughters and if my life depended on it, it would be short lived.

Btw the second issue it’s title will remain unchanged. I’ve already begun work on the third issue.

Categories: Hand Tools

I need your help

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 1:56pm

I chose HANDWORK as the title of our magazine as it best describes what we do, but as I tried to register the name yesterday through ASIC they tell me a little old lady has taken this name.  Not only did she take this name she registered multiple spellings of handwork.  So, now I need another title for the magazine and I tried several others;

  • Handcraft – taken
  • Handkraft – taken
  • Handcraftd – taken
  • woodworking with hand tools – too long
  • woodspeak – available pending my payment

I personally like WOODSPEAK as a title, I think it's unique and we are speaking about wood and when we work our wood speaks back to us.

So what do you think?

Do you like it?

Do you have any other names that would be a better suited title?

Lets brainstorm together, I only have a few days to register that name.

One more has been added to the pending payment list and I think this one is pretty good also

"BenchWork". That title pretty much covers everything we do.


Categories: Hand Tools

Review from Woodcentral on HANDWORK

Sun, 08/13/2017 - 11:37am

I’m speechless, gob smacked, never saw it coming.  I’m honoured and humbled.


Categories: Hand Tools

Issue 2 release date

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 4:52am

HANDWORK Issue 2 will be available on Saturday August 19th.  There will be over 90 pages of quality reading materials, a little bit of everything and I also added an index page. I’ve been working on it for 18 hrs straight and by God I did it.  I nailed it. I hope you all like it.

I’m off to bed.

Categories: Hand Tools

Issue two update

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 6:22pm

I may have worded it wrong in my previous post concerning iTunes. Handwork won't be solely available on iTunes. I want to expand it to iTunes for people who use iPads. Handwork will continue to be in PDF format, and whilst many mac users don't know this, they can download any PDF file and then import it via iTunes. This PDF would be located in your iBooks under the PDF tab. You don't need to download any app for this.

Having it available on iTunes is a desire but nothing concrete. If I can't figure out how to make the layout compatible with iPads without having to resort to two different layouts I'm not going to do it.

I have enough on my plate as it is. So it's all in the wind for now.

I know I have bitten off more than I can chew, but I'm working on it and will succeed. I'm not going to let anyone down, I won't fail you.

Categories: Hand Tools

Issue II Coming Out Soon

Sat, 08/05/2017 - 10:12pm

You may be wondering or not why I’ve been so quiet lately.  Well, I’ve been very busy writing and compiling articles for the second Issue of HANDWORK.  With Issue 1 still being downloaded and I’ve stopped counting on the 7th thousandth download and not to mention all the positive emails I’ve received, I’m hoping the second Issue will be even better than the first.

I never thought in a million years I would take upon myself such a challenge.  I absolutely take my hat off to all the woodworking magazines out there who has been writing wonderful articles for decades.   There is so much behind the scenes work that goes into these magazines that it’s beyond anyone’s imagination.

I would like to thank in advance Matt McGrane for volunteering  as a contributing editor. If you see grammatical errors they are from me and not from Matt as I’m under time constraints to get this done as not all of the articles made their way to Matt.

I would also like to thank Greg Merritt a contributing author of two great articles.  The pressure was really on Greg when his computer froze and he lost all his work, but none the less he soldiered on and delivered.  Greg you’re not alone, the same thing happened to me a week earlier.  Bloody windows!

I also want to thank you, my readers for all your letters of support and compliments you’ve emailed me.  I’ll be including randomly some of them  in the magazine.

There’s still some further changes I would like to make and a lot of proofreading, photo editing, design layout but it will get done.  In the coming weeks or months I’m planning on having it itunes ready.  It’s a big learning curve for me but I believe in time HANDWORK will evolve to be bigger and better.

I’m hoping in the next week or two the latest to have it uploaded for you to download. So please spread the word and tell everyone about HANDWORK.

Matt how many errors have you picked up in this post? Be lenient I just finished a 14 hour shift.

Take care everyone. Cheers from down under!


Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Plane No.10 Round complete!

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:17pm

I shaped the iron, heat treated, sharpened it to a razor finish and did it within two hours. Considering how long it took me the first time, experience and speed has finally kicked in.

I’m very pleased with the outcome, she’s planing and ejecting shavings like a dream.   The mouth opening is 1/32″ which I’ve returned back to my original idea and not intentionally but just by accident. Still it allowed thick enough shavings to go through without clogging. All that’s left to do now is to put a couple of coats of finish and use that as the mother plane for the hollow.

I found a neat little trick to shaping the iron, initially I shaped the iron on a grinder keeping it at 90° but the bevel I did with a file, just like our ancestors did and with all their plane irons to re establish their bevel .  If I used the grinder to establish a 25° bevel and refine the shape I would’ve taken too much from one side or the other.  With a file I took small amounts resulting in a more controlled shaping process.  The grinder hogs off a lot of material throwing you off everytime until you get it right, but that is time consuming.  The file seems like a slower process but it actually took me 20 -30 mins probably less to do it, that’s a saving of 2 hours work.

I could of given up considering how long I’ve been at it but I didn’t.  Hard work, persistence, obsession is the key to success, nothing comes easy.


Categories: Hand Tools

What to expect in the new issue

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 9:29pm

Here is an excerpt a small part of what to expect in the new issue.  The magazine is far from complete but I thought I’d give you a teaser.

New and improved chip breakers

The purpose of the cap iron ie chip breaker is to deflect shavings, when setup close to the cutting irons edge, supposing to reduce tear out. Leonard Bailey introduced the curved cap iron to his thin irons to eliminate the vibrations which caused chatter. With the Bailey/Stanley versioned cap irons you can modify them to completely eliminate tear out altogether by slightly honing a small bevel on the front edge. The mouth opening no longer plays a part and you can safely even plane against the grain with no tear out, which eliminates the need for a scraper. With the modern so called improved version you can’t do that, I have tried and ruined the cap iron. The reason why toolmakers refuse to reproduce the Stanley/Bailey cap irons is due to the high costs involved in creating a hump in the steel. They need to renew their advertised claim of “new and improved chip breakers” to “new and not so costly to us chipbreakers”; if you have an old Stanley plane do not replace it with a thicker iron and nor the chip breaker with the modern one.

Here are my final thoughts I haven’t included in this issue.  The old Stanley planes are remarkable in every sense of the word.  Why modern day tool makers felt the need to change them bewilders me.  The extra mass in modern day planes is taxing on the body, their reasoning behind it is the more mass the easier it is to push through the wood, I personally cannot agree with this.  Whilst working professionally I used it all day everyday and with my bad back I could barely walk at the end of the day.  I refurbished an old record smoother last year and found myself to be less fatigued whilst using it.  The thin irons are easier to sharpen and quicker also as there is less metal to remove than the new thicker ones.  They are also easier to sharpen freehand than the modern day type.  The cap irons can be easily modified to plane against the grain eliminating all tearout while the modern day type cannot.

Lie Nielsen and Veritas and others that are coming on the market are high quality planes without a doubt but if I had to do it all over again I would make the switch.  I don’t wish to rub any toolmaker up the wrong way but the facts of practical use speaks for itself.

Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Planes a real challenge

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 10:27pm


I got night shift tonight I should of been in bed 3 hours ago and the results show on my no.10 moulding plane.  I can’t attribute everything to the rush but mostly to my own stupidity of not thinking things through properly.  I was too confident and lowered my guard much like the motorcycle rider who is still learning to ride, when he gets too confident that’s when the proverbial turd hits the fan.

I drew up the plans but I never made a top view which screwed me up because I got it wrong in the build.  You can see I broke through the lamination because the mortise isn’t centered.  Then I forgot how I carved the teardrop and on the blindside I planed more than 3/4 high.  The good thing is none of this affects the function of the plane, the round has a radius of 5/8 and the bed is flat, so the rest is just aesthetics.  The wedge turned out nice, I like that Walker design, its just unfortunate I stuffed up another thing I’ll have to live with.  All there’s left to do is to shape the iron and start on the hollow.  I’ll be using this round to shape the hollow. I won’t be starting any other projects until I really get a handle on these planes.  So far I’m already having a pile of commissioned jobs starting to pile up but I have said until these planes are out of the way your just going to have to wait.

I’m looking forward in doing a write up for these planes but I will do that when I’m absolutely confident I got it right.  It will be a pretty long write up because I think I have just about every mistake a person can make but no matter how much an author can give information not all of it is absorbed and it’s only inevitable you too will make the same mistakes.  But you learn from this and that’s priceless, no school can ever teach you what you learn from mistakes, no school can ever give you an indepth understanding you can from making mistakes.    But don’t knock schools for they are the greatest institutions in the world and every teacher deserves honour and respect.

Take care I’m off to bed.

Categories: Hand Tools


Tue, 07/11/2017 - 8:28am

I’ve just begun on Issue 2 and after much success of Issue 1 with a record download of 1500 and still counting, I’m hoping I can do an even better job in Issue 2.  HANDWORK has gained a fantastic contributing author Greg Merritt who will cover a great topic which I’ll leave you guessing till it’s out.  Brian and Joshua are another two great authors I look forward in working with again, their contribution towards the magazine are greatly appreciated.

Once more I do not have a timeline on when it will be released as I’m trying to fit this work in between jobs that pays the bills just barely and my shop time that consumes what’s left of my savings.

I’m also considering writing a book, it’s 1:23am and I’ve only just scratched the surface of my first article.  I will be getting up in 6 hours to do it all again, luckily for me I have a few days off work not that I can bloody afford to have a single day off work but I’m dedicated to this project, it’s a good thing and a worthwhile effort and the best part is you all enjoyed reading HANDWORK and that’s worth every effort.

Good night and take care.

Categories: Hand Tools

Small Router Plane Build Part 2

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 8:51am

Categories: Hand Tools

High chest of drawers

Sat, 07/08/2017 - 6:10pm
Date: 1730–60
Geography: Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Culture: American
Medium: Maple, birch, white pine
Dimensions: 86 1/2 x 40 x 21 1/2 in. (219.7 x 101.6 x 54.6 cm)

Japanning, the use of paint and gilded gesso to imitate the glossy finish on Asian lacquer work, was a popular method of furniture decoration in colonial Boston. This group of japanned furniture (40.37.1,.2,.4) descended in the Pickman family of Salem, Massachusetts, and is an extraordinary survival. The painted decoration on the high chest, dressing table, and looking glass is all by the same hand.

Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: inscribed in chalk on the back of bottom shelf drawer: W E; [number on various parts]
descended in the Pickman and Loring families, Salem, Massachusetts, until 1918; Lawrence Dwight, by 1918; his fiancee, Harriet Amory (later Mrs. Warwick Potter), New York, until 1940
Timeline of Art History (2000-present)

Categories: Hand Tools

Making a treadle Lathe

Fri, 07/07/2017 - 2:40am

HANDWORK’s contributing author Joshua Steven aka Mr.Chickadee has uploaded a video on youtube on making a foot powered lathe.  Joshua has built his homestead entirely by hand and now he’s showing you how to build this lathe entirely by hand.  This is what its about, this is what true freedom is.  This is handwork.


Categories: Hand Tools

I’m hooked on fish glue

Wed, 07/05/2017 - 10:37pm

I’ve done an extensive article on this glue and there’s no need for me to repeat it again. Last night I was gluing up some very thin panels for another project, it’s 1/8″ thick, as always I use hot hide glue but I wasn’t paying attention and over cooked it which ended up in the bin immediately.  So instead of making another batch I heated up OBG in hot water, clamped it and left it to dry.  I left it for a couple of days as I had other projects to attend to.  What shocked me was that the glue broke along the glue line, the glue is coming to the end of its shelf life it will expire in two months time.  However, to me that means nothing because I always go by smell.  You’ll know when your glue is ready for the bin.  This has only happened to me once before but anyhow I thought I’d give fish glue another final trial run and reglued the two panels.  It hasn’t been 24 hours clamp time that you normally would do with this type of glue and its rock solid, I must be a weakling because I cannot literally break the panel apart.  It’s only an 1/8″ thick just tad over 3mm and I cannot break it apart, now that’s impressive.  What I also love is how it’s light in colour which makes it possible to make a seamless edge join.

I’m sold, I just placed an order from Lee Valley for a 500ml bottle but what gets me is how bloody picky we are.  We know that the best fish glue comes from Sturgeon and this fish is almost extinct which is why they’ve banned fishing it.  There are some places that do sell fish glue made from Sturgeon, maybe it’s banned to the rest of the world except the Russians I don’t know but I do know it cost $500 for the flakes.  Lee Valley fish glue is made from cod, this is a lower quality type of fish glue but it more than does the job, it really does.  They say it has a shelf life of two years but that’s crock, fish glue can last for many, many years as long as it’s kept either in a fridge or even more convenient as there’s no wife to jump down your throat for using her fridge to store your glue, if you keep it in a cool dark non damp spot like your drawer in your cabinet or keep it in your cabinet.  Remember I’ve had this small bottle for over 5 years kept in a drawer and it still hasn’t gone off.  So there it is in a nutshell and should be great news for all those instrument makers who’ve had nothing but trouble with their fish glue.    We don’t need the best of the best, why pay for more when you can pay less for something that works really well.  If I can’t break it then somebody explain to me why I need to pay $500 for something else I can’t break either.  Fish glue works.! Give it a try and you’ll never look back.

Btw I’ll never replace my hot hide because it spreads easy, fish glue is thick and you can thin it down but I don’t.  I love hot hide and I love fish glue and I will definitely be using fish glue for dovetails and more often for other types of joinery.  I’m so torn between the two.  I love them both equally.

Categories: Hand Tools

A big thank you!

Sun, 07/02/2017 - 4:30pm

With over 400 downloads on this first issue I’m simply amazed.  I got some nice letters of praise including from a former a editor of American Woodworker magazine Ellis Walentine who is the host of woodcentral.  I’m just speechless, I don’t really know how to express my appreciation and I’m also scared out of my wits.  It’s clearly obvious that other magazines haven’t seen the value in marketing such a magazine, they are so engrossed with the machine world that they’ve missed the obvious. People want to work with their hands.  There are far more amatuer woodworkers than professional and many amateurs either don’t have the shop space for machinery or they simply choose to work with hand tools.

I haven’t yet started on the second issue, once more life is getting in the way.  I also need authors without authors you’ll be stuck with just me and there’s only so much I can do on my own.  So please get in contact with me and help me out.

Categories: Hand Tools

HANDWORK Magazine Out Now!

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 7:59am


It’s finally here a hand tool magazine for hand tool woodworkers.  First I would like to thank our contributing authors Brian Holcombe and Joshua Steven aka Mr. Chickadee for their great articles, I would also like to thank Christopher Schwarz for his suggestion and advice and above all you the readers who’ve said yes to this.  I never thought it was going to be easy but I didn’t think it would be this hard either.  HANDWORK is free just download from the link provided down below.  The link is through megasync, it free with no annoying time delays.

I’ve done the best I could with the limited knowledge I have of compiling a magazine, feel free to leave your comments.  I would really like to know if you’ve enjoyed it.  I know not many people like to leave comments, setting up a gravatar account is a pain.  So I’ve setup a poll just choose YES or NO.

Happy reading there is over 60 pages to read through, enjoy!

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='https://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));



Handwork Vol.1 Issue 1

Categories: Hand Tools