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Moe Follansbee knew what’s what

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 1:54pm

Over two months ago, I lost my everyday knife. I looked everywhere and came up empty. I decided it either broke off the strap, and fell, or got dropped into a bag of shavings & went the way of all things. I have lots of slojd knives – so I could keep carving spoons without any discomfort. But usually I like wearing one for everyday use. I finally gave up looking, and ordered some new blades.   I tried to be positive about it, thinking maybe someone found what would become a really good knife for them.

everyday sloydbefore it was lost

I had the blade since about 1992, it was on its 2nd handle. (I split the first one using the knife like a little froe). When I replaced the handle, I made the sheath. That was about 12 years ago. A friend at the museum made the leather work. Once the new blades arrived, I made a new knife and sheath. It was OK, but not the same.  This one, I tried my hand at the leather, but for one thing my model was gone! Here I am boring out the blank for the handle, to fit the knife’s tang.

Paring the new handle.

here is the end result, works fine. But doesn’t feel right one way or another. The leather I used was too thick for one thing, so it didn’t conform quite as well as I wished. Handle is the only piece of boxwood I had. Why did I try that?

Here’s the knife out of the sheath. It works, I was carving spoons yesterday with it. Clicks into the sheath like it’s supposed to do. I was thinking I’d do it over at some point, but things are getting busy around here right about now. 

Today I was sorting & cleaning inside & out. In the shop, it came time to climb up & hang this year’s Greenwood Fest poster. I’m not a huge poster fan, but Greenwood Fest is a pretty special affair for me, so up it went. Right above last year’s version. While I was there, I grabbed that basket for the tools & materials in it. I made some basket rims & handles from the hickory I wrote about last time, and this week I’ll install them. Needed the clips and other bits in there.

 

And don’t you know – in the basket was my old knife. Made a good day a great one.

It’s always the last place you look, my father used to say.


Very Nice Student Work.

David Barron Furniture - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 9:29am

Matthew a 17 year old student sent me these pictures of some of his recent work. He is just completing his level 3 qualification in furniture and design and the vanity mirror above is his assessment piece, as well as a present for his girlfriend.


This walnut corner cabinet has a well executed veneered panel with diamond inlay. I'm sure with this standard of work he has a long future ahead in furniture making.


Categories: Hand Tools

Against Perfection, Precision or Accuracy

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 8:36am

It’s difficult to argue against perfection in woodworking. That’s because the counter argument is something like: “You’re a hack and can’t get it right, and so you say that your imperfections are intentional.” Or put another way, you can’t be too rich, too thin or have joinery that is too perfect. Here’s how I think about perfection: We now have the technology to abolish time zones. Each person’s phone could […]

The post Against Perfection, Precision or Accuracy appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Live and Learn

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 8:23am

Making Things Work

Some people have the vague notion that when you’ve been a woodworker for decades, you know how to do everything. If only. No one knows how to do everything. Experience in a variety of techniques may be transferable to new forms, but just because a technique will work does not mean it’s especially good in structural or aesthetic terms, let alone efficient to use in specific circumstances.

When faced with a woodworking mystery–say, a look I want for a finish, or some convincing 3-D effect I’d like to produce in an 1/8-inch-deep relief carving–I like to try to answer the question for myself before I seek the answer from others. The effort of thinking a problem through will often give me deeper insight into methods others recommend, and it’s especially satisfying when I find that “my” method is the one used by other woodworkers I respect.

I’ve enjoyed a few…

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Categories: Hand Tools

Filing is boring

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 6:19am
Today I toothed two 22" saw blades. 9 tpi and 7 tpi. File consuming and boring.
 After that I needed to finish a project. So I changed the blade of a old Buck & Co dovetail saw.

 
Categories: Hand Tools

Two-Cherry Picking

Paul Sellers - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 3:51am

What’s saddest of all is what I said about new woodworkers picking up the saw. There is something thats true about all of us when we start any creative craft. We tend to think buying something less expensive will match our amateur-status skill level and that “it will do until we find out of we …

Read the full post Two-Cherry Picking on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

made a new tool.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 2:54am
I am not someone who revels in making their own tools. I would much rather buy a tool I need but sometimes you don't have that choice. Especially so when you are in the middle of building something and you are dead in the water because of a lack of a specific tool. I came close to that today but in my case I made a tool to replace a manufactured one. It wasn't planned and it was driven strictly by not liking how the manufactured one was working.

there was a bench underneath all the crappola
It took me about 6 minutes to clear off the sharpening bench. I needed access to the stones so I could sharpen the 2" chisel I need to chisel the miters on the bookcase frame. Most of the crap on here ended up on the nearest horizontal surface which happened to be the tablesaw.

trying out my 8000 grit Japanese stone
A couple of spritzs of water to use the nagura stone to make a slurry. On my last 8K japanese stone I didn't use the nagura stone. I didn't have any problems with not using it and I may start it here too. I'll use it until I get used to the stone and get a feel for it's character.

flattened it
The chisel did not feel like it was flat on the stone. Looking at the bevel, I could see there was hollow spot so I stopped and flattened the stone. I assumed it was flat but after a few strokes, I could see it wasn't.

looks ok
This new stone is a bit softer than my old one. It will take a while to get used to it. I'm also not sure about the shine on the bevel. I haven't sharpened and honed this chisel much so I don't have much history to remember on it. I do like the extra width of the stone a lot. The new stone is almost 3/4" wider than the old one.

chisel is ready but this isn't
The template is shifting as I tighten the vise with the template rolling inboard. This is aggravating because it will effect the face of the miter and possibly cause gaps.

appears to be square
There isn't a lot of meat to register against the square but it lined up square end to end. The template isn't the cause of the rolling.

it was the small rabbets
I made these so they were half lapped so to speak with the miter template. A few shavings off of each and there is no more contact with the template on the ends of this filler.

fixed
No more rolling inboard and the gap is gone at the top between the template and the filler.

chiseling away at 45°
pretty good
Not perfect, but acceptable for a painted joint.

I trimmed this miter with the template
I didn't have to trim this because I already did it on the shooting board. I wanted to try out the template on this part of the frame too. I ended up trimming it back too much. The toe of the miter extends past the quirk. The miter toe on this one has to end at the quirk to mate and line up with the other miter.

now it is where it should be
a little better fitting
now that is a gap
I lost a bit over an 1/8" playing with both of the miters. The goal with this practice was to first get the miters to fit. Secondly, was the flat and I hope I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot and saying I'm good on that part.

right side is gappy
This is where I found out I was displeased with the manufactured template. Even with the 2" chisel it was not easy maintaining registration on the templates two edges.

thin edges
Try as I might I couldn't get any feedback that I was flat on these two edges. Even when I pushed down on the chisel at the bevel, I still had some uncertainties.

chewed up a little
These I could feel and they were a minor distraction. There wasn't a smooth, fluid motion with the chisel as I swept it across these two edges.

new miter template stock
My first choice was 1/2 maple but that would have required secured two pieces somehow to each other at 90°. I didn't want to wait for that to set up. Choice #2 was european beech but it wasn't thick enough at only 7/8" thick. The rabbet I wanted to make in it would make it too thin for the 3/4" frame stock thickness. The winner was a big chunk of ash. It is over 1 1/4" thick and the rabbet in it will be able to cover the 3/4" frame.

rift sawn at this end
This will up the stability of the template but even if it wasn't, I feel comfortable using this wood. I have had it hanging out in the shop for a couple of years. Hopefully it won't do any stupid wood tricks when I finish making it.

got my 45 laid out
I chiseled my saw wall on the face and I concentrated on sawing directly down on this corner.

I've got a good feeling about this
Just by looking at this I can see that the plumb looks goods but I'm not sure of the 45°. I did have the saw wall and I didn't deviate from that.

the opposite face that was down
Just a little bit of the knife line still visible here. On the rest of it I can barely make it out.

pretty good on the top too
I am feeling like I should pat myself on the back. This is the absolute best miter I have ever done to date. Nothing else even comes close and I still have to check it with a combo square.

wow
This is damn good for me. Wow again. I feel almost like Paul Sellers and his nonchalant sawing of miters. This is the face that was down and although it isn't making 100% contact, this is still impressing me a lot.

the other face
It doesn't get any better than this. This face side is almost perfect. For the Jackie Gleason fans, "....how sweet it is......".

the first step
The opposite side of the face I sawed was a bit high and the sawn face wasn't square to the side. A couple of swipes and all was well in Disneyland.

one teeny hump in the middle to remove
The hump was done with the chisel. It took 3 dance steps but I finally got rid of it.

problem with the new miter template
The space between the bead and the template is going to bite me on the buttocks.

it's rolling outboard
I knew this was too good to be true. This template is too small for the stock. If the outside leg extended down more, this might not be happening. Time to see if I can repeat this in a larger size.

sawing the 45 first
 On the first one I sawed out the blank and then sawed the miter. It was a bit difficult sawing it out due to it's small size. On this one I am sawing the 45 first and then I'll saw out the blank.

two strokes and I was through
And no, I didn't leave any saw marks on the workbench.

squared the sides to the face
I didn't check the 45 yet because I wanted to saw out the rabbet first. That would leave me with less meat to make into a 45°. When I did check it, I was off 45 by a couple of degrees. I think I did that when I planed the face square. It took me a lot of time and fussing to get this angle to 45°. I would plane and check, plane and check. Swear, curse, and threaten it with bodily harm and plane and check it some more. After leaving this twice and coming back to it, I finally got the miter to equal 45°. Personally, I think it was the threat of flying lessons that sealed the deal.

no rolling and no gaps
much better
This is a 23 bazillion percent improvement over the metal miter template. The two registration edges on my homemade template are much broader and larger. All that extra real estate translates into a steadier chisel and a warm and fuzzy having rock steady faces to swing the chisel on.

one small and one big
I ended up with a right and left hand miter template and I didn't plan it that way. I would rather both being the same but I can see the advantage of having both. These weren't that hard to make and if the need comes up, I can easily make another one. I have a lot of the ash hanging out in the shop.

my stash of good brushes
This is where I keep my brushes and all of them are labeled as to what they are used for. Most of them are for latex with one for oil paint and another for oil based poly. I wanted a brush for water based poly but I didn't have one. I am sure I had one but my wife knows of this stash and I'm sure she wouldn't check what it was labeled. Not that I'm saying she took it.

roll back brushes from Wally World
I always try to buy the best brush I can. If you clean them and take care of them, they will last forever. Most of the brushes in my stash are 15-20 years old and I still have the 4" brush I last used to help my father paint a house with. These were the best that Wally World had and they were on sale. I would rather have a 2 1/2" brush but the 3" will do. 2 1/2" brushes fit in quart cans and 3" brushes are better suited for gallon cans.

labeled
I had wanted to get the poly on the bookcase and the shelves today but it didn't happen. I painted the shelves, again. This time it was to paint over the layout lines for the shelf pin sockets. It is a definite, as firm as unset Jello, that I will get one coat of poly on it tomorrow.

almost done
I still have chisels that I thought I had sharpened and honed but hadn't. I started to sharpen this one and the right side of the bevel has a hollow. The smallest one in the box has a flat on the end of the bevel. It is shiny and bright and looks sharp but it probably would not cut wet cardboard. Something I that will definitely maybe pick back up tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is duende?
answer - the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm

No.15 H&R’s Moulding Planes Drawings

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 10:08pm

I have finally finished all the drawings from No.18 – No.1.  That’s 36 planes in total or 18 pairs. The No.18 has a radius of 1 1/2″ and so it goes down to No.1 which has a radius of 1/16″.

I have based these drawings but not entirely from Larry nor even entirely from James Celeb. These drawings were most difficult to complete, the reasons being that Larry’s dimensions are not accurate.  I’ve had a friend of mine who is a doctor of engineering try to make sense of those dimensions and came to the same conclusion that they are innacurate.  So I’ve had to change them to make it all work, James Celeb drawing of a single moulding plane is correct but he too had to deviate from Larry’s dimensions a little.  Matt Bickford’s planes follows very closely if not identically to Larry’s planes, unfortunately those dimensions he uses are unavailable to me.

The initial base design is the same as Larry’s, Bickfords and Celeb, those base dimensions is an agreed upon consensus since the 18th century and on 18th century planes only.  The issue I had was getting the blind side matching the bodies fullness while maintaining the radius profile.  Believe me this was one mind boggling thing.

While I’ve stuck to the planes typical 18th century design, I’ve opted to change the finial from the typical circular to an elliptical shape with a lamb’s tongue.  In the 18th century there are about 5 different designs for the wedges if I’m not mistaken and the one that appeals to me the most is Thomas Walker’s design.  The elliptical shape is taken from those poxy shoes they used to wear, you know the one with the heels.  To me that looks most elegant for the wedge and it’s not the same shape though but very similar to the 19th century style.  The lamb’s tongue yet adds a touch of further elegance.

18th century planes are slightly longer than 19th century moulding planes, but they are in no way more functional than 19th century planes, it’s very much an aesthetic thing.  To my eyes 18th century planes are a lot more pleasing in design than the 19th century style.

So here’s the thing guys and gals, I’m sure you would want to have all the working drawings for these but I won’t release them all until I have built these planes.  Even though I have double and triple and quad triple checked my work, I still need to see whether or not changes could be made as an improvement.  So far I’ve build one plane the No.16 based on these drawings and it works fine but I want to finish off the rest and if all goes well then I can safely offer them to you and sleep better knowing they are 100% correct.

However, I will not be offering them for free, I don’t know how much I will charge for them but it will be affordable.  I’ve always had good intentions for this blog but considering how expensive this country of mine is, I’m really doing it tough.  I’ve invested a considerable amount of time and knowledge to draw these up, and to offer them for free would be ludicrous.  As far as I know such plans are not available anywhere on the net, I will be the first.  So have a look at the sample No.15 plane, see for yourselves just how accurate and well drawn they are.

15 hollow A3 Imperial

15 round A3 Imperial


Categories: Hand Tools

Picture This CX

Pegs and 'Tails - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 6:22pm
Whether by the hand of its maker, a natural defect or the passage of time having its effect on highly contorted wood, antique furniture can be the more beautiful and desirable for its often-perceived shortcomings and faults. Like a face-pulling … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Waxing Lyrical

Pegs and 'Tails - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 5:26pm
Winters in Australia aren’t nearly as severe as winters back in Ireland and England, but the recent daytime highs of 12° to 16° (54°F to 61°F) provide near optimal conditions for waxing furniture. Of course, waxing can be undertaken at … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Don’t let this happen to you

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 3:15pm
bad edge joint
Many of us woodworkers have a habit of casting our judgmental eyes on woodwork we encounter anywhere, at anytime. Imagine if we were hair stylists. Recently, I noticed the condition of the tables in a certain non-chain pizza shop, which happens to serve the best pizza I have ever tasted. Great pizza joint, bad edge […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Today

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 10:21am
Today I realy wanted to make a lot of work on the saws of the backlog. I just have put all the tools from the Austria trip back in place, when my daughter came to the workshop, phone in the hand.
A friend asked if we would like to join them on a sailing trip watching the Windjammerparade* at the end of the Kieler Woche*.

Living in Kiel for 22 years, I've somehow managed never to have sailed here.

So no pics of saw making today (and none of sailing neither). But a very happy and refreshed saw maker.

* Windjammerparade is a  parade of tall sailing ships
* Kieler Woche is the biggest sailing event of the world and the biggest folkfest in nothern europe (and I think the third biggest in Germany after Oktoberfest in Munich and Canstatter Wasn in Stuttgart)


Categories: Hand Tools

The Sad Tale of Tom Turkey

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 6:54am

Making Things Work

Warning: The following is not about woodworking, so if you wish to limit your reading to that subject, you may prefer to substitute an installment of Routers I Have Loved (my personal favorite was my 1980 Elu) or wait for Chris’s next post about Roman Workbenches (which I am, in all seriousness, eagerly anticipating). This anecdote was excised from Making Things Work on the grounds that too much of a good thing is, well, sometimes too much. It will be included in a future collection. Also, you probably won’t want to read this story while eating.

A few days after Thanksgiving, my phone rang. “Oh, hello, Nancy.” It was Andrew, my client at the time. His tone was suspiciously cheerful considering our recent contretemps over the installation of his 1.6 gallon per flush toilet.*

“Look, I hate to ask you, but there’s no one else I can call. I had…

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Categories: Hand Tools

Quick Carving Tip!

Peter Galbert - Chair Notes - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 5:52am
Carvings have absolutely nothing to do with the structural integrity of the chair, but they do stand out as the most visually "loud" elements. As such, I am always very sensitive to the role of the carvings because they give a distinct impression of the quality of the rest of the piece.  Here is just one part that I find adds a great deal of interest and beauty to a volute on a comb back ear.

I alway think about a volute in terms of the negative space, that's where I do my work after all. I think of the shape as a long taper that's been bent to a round shape. It helps me to focus on the evenness of the curves if I think of it as a straight taper first. I do the same for the depth of the carving, keeping a close eye on the stop cut/ side wall in the volute so that it tapers evenly as well. The combo of the two make the carving visually flow.



Categories: Hand Tools

The Case Against Tail Vises

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 4:57am

If workbenches were like automobiles, then I’d consider the tail vise to be like the heated seats in a car. They’re an option, of course, but they are by no means standard equipment, like tires. Out of economic necessity, my first three workbenches didn’t have tail vises, and so I was thrilled when I was assigned to review a full-size European workbench with all the bells and whistles, including a […]

The post The Case Against Tail Vises appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

a different miter practice.....

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 1:25am
Today was hot and humid. Both of these happening together make me a miserable SOB to be around if I'm not in an AC space. As I am typing up this blog post, the skies are turning gray because there is supposed to be a line of thunder boomers rolling through. And those are forecasted to last into tomorrow morning. After the wet stuff leaves, the H&H is coming back. Sunday is going to be toasty with a predicted temp of 90°F+ (32°C+)along with high humidity.

I do have some good news. Amazon shot an email to me saying I'll be getting my camera on July 3rd. They haven't taken the money yet so I'm not sure that they haven't gotten them yet neither. I am having it delivered to my wife's work place. There is always someone there to sign for it. And if they won't sign for it, they can call my wife to come do it.  This way I don't have to worry about someone stealing it if it is left on the stoop.

prepping some practice stock
Miters aren't in my top ten joints I like to do. I am slowly getting better doing them and I have a special miter to practice here. This one is mitering a beaded frame so the bead runs continuously around the bookcase. I need to square and straighten out the stock first.

two long pieces of practice stock
These two pieces are the same width as the frame parts I am using on the bookcase.

slight rabbet on the side
Matt from the tiny workshop blog here recently did an awesome job of documenting rehabbing a beading plane. After reading that I knew what was causing this tiny rabbet here.

the iron needs work
I thought I had the iron profile set pretty good and matching the bed profile. According to Matt the rabbet is caused by the left side of the iron being proud of the bed. It should fade away into the bed profile and not be proud of it. I'll be fixing this and copying Matt step by step when I do. For now I'll just sand this little bit off.

what are the odds?
I didn't bother to make square lines on the practice parts I sawed out. I just made a tic mark for the length and sawed them out. All four saw cuts are plumb and square. If I had made square lines to saw on I probably would have gotten toast.

the 3 practice pieces
I want to practice making  both the right and left side joints on the frame. The left one is easy to do as it naturally allows me to use the dominant right hand. On the right I'll have to rely mostly on my left hand.

quick outing on the shooting board
Since the ends were sawn square, all I had to do here was shoot the edges clean and smooth.

back up practice stock for just in case
marking the miters on the side frame
My last time doing this I tried to mark the miter on the front beaded side. That didn't work too good and I couldn't tell where the toe of the miter was because of the molded edge. I am running the miter from the back onto the front bottom.

marking gauge line
This is all I need on the top. The marking gauge line is the top or heel of the miter and I'll use it to set the chisel into it to set the miter template before I chop the miter.

miter laid out on the face
I need to have some idea of where the miter face will run so that when I saw this face I don't saw to deep. I will be sawing the waste from both sides. On the back the miter face is easy to see because there isn't a bead and a quirk in the way. I will be sawing in the quirk and I can see where the miter face is, I don't need to know where it is on the beaded portion.

the vise action is still working
the top one is easy to do
I rough cut the miters just before the back wall of the quirk. I will plane to that on the shooting board.

one easy and one not so easy
This one was done 1-2-3. The other one took a bit of fussing to do. I would shoot and check and kept at that until the toe of the miter hit the back wall of the quirk.

second marking gauge line
I ran the second line to the middle-ish of the quirk. The saw will remove the bulk of the waste and once I have the miter chiseled, I will square up and level it down to the quirk bottom.

most of the waste is sawn off
I need to spend some calories on the sharpening stones
I was going to stop here and pick this up tomorrow but I couldn't wait.

I should have waited
Ugly looking miter even if you look at it with one eye closed and the other one half open.

this miter is dead nuts 45°
The other one is less than 45°.

why this miter is toast
I knew that I shouldn't have used this 1 inch chisel because I already found out it was too small. Like an idiot, I thought I could use it because I knew it's shortcoming. That knowledge obviously didn't help. Look at the right bottom corner of the chisel. It is off the edge of the miter template and digging into the miter making it less than 45. The chisel needs to be on both the top and side edges at all times. The one inch chisel is too narrow to do that.

this is must
If the chisel isn't on both edges of the template, it is no longer being cut at 45°.

got the flat done good

flush at the top
Both heels on the miters are correct in that they are dead nuts on the marking gauge line. The heels govern the flush at the top. I think I am ready to do these miters now that I know being impatient will bite me on the ass. I will still do the practice joints before I commit to the real thing.


I won these
I saw these on Josh's tool site (Hyperkitten tools) and I didn't get them The next day they were still there which surprised me. I thought that Josh would be writing emails forever explaining that they were already sold to unlucky ones asking for them. This time I bought them. Josh said that these are from the 1960's based on no UPC barcode being on the package. I have a Stanley pump drill that takes these but I bought them to see if they will fit my North Bros. drill. I lost the 5/32" bit for it. The 5/32 bit is the size to drill holes for knobs and handles. I'll check it out tomorrow if I don't forget I have them.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How are seedless oranges propagated?
answer - by grafting because the original seedless orange was a mutant

Shame On You Two Cherries, Shame On YOU!

Paul Sellers - Sat, 06/24/2017 - 12:43am

This week I picked up a brand new gent’s saw straight from the pack made by the famous German tool makers Two Cherries. I noticed the unusual tooth shape, which strangely resembled the edge of a tin can when we used to open it with a multipurpose survival knife. I wondered how it would work …

Read the full post Shame On You Two Cherries, Shame On YOU! on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Thoughts About Selling Dulcimers That Don’t Exist

Doug Berch - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 3:55pm

Dulcimer in progress

I have decided to take a break from taking advance orders for custom dulcimers.

Five years ago about half my dulcimers were sold before I made them. Someone would choose from various options I offer and give me a deposit to begin making their dulcimer. I prioritized these custom orders and built them in the order they were received.

While building these custom dulcimers I also had time to build dulcimers that were not already sold. I usually had three to five dulcimers on hand for sale.

Five years ago I suddenly had to deal with some serious lower back issues that added unexpected flavor and color to my life. It has been an interesting journey and it is not yet over.

I am currently able to work in the shop about one-third the amount of time I would prefer to be working. Some days or weeks I am able to work more, some less, some not at all, but it averages out to working about a third of the time I used to.

During this time I have also had a surprising increase in custom orders.  All but one dulcimer I have sold in the past 3 years was ordered in advance.

My time in the shop has become completely focused on custom work. I keep thinking I will have time to build some dulcimers to put up for sale but it just hasn’t happened.

Most of the custom dulcimers I build are pretty much the same as dulcimers I would ordinarily build but the new owner chooses particular wood, string length, number of strings, fret patterns, and other options that I offer. Occasionally someone asked for a unique feature that had to do with playability for their particular style and when I felt it worked with my sense of instrument design then I would do that as well.

The tricky part of this is that when I do have dulcimers on hand for sale they are sometimes not exactly what someone wants. If it has no dots in the fingerboard someone will want dots in the fingerboard. If it has 3 strings someone wants one just like it with 4 strings or vice-versa.

In the near future I will be offering dulcimers for sale and I am thinking there will usually be something available that will appeal to someone. If someone wants something specific I will keep a list and contact them if I make something like what they want. I’ll also be happy to contact people and let them know when I have more dulcimers available.

In the long run I think this will work better for everyone. When I put a dulcimer up for sale people can try it and know exactly what they are getting. I can ship it and you can return it if you decide you don’t care for it. I have sold many dulcimers this way and so far no one has decided not to keep it.

With a custom order the dulcimer is yours. Unless there is a problem with it covered by my warranty the dulcimer is not returnable. Again, I have sold many dulcimers this way and almost everyone was 100% happy. One person was less than 100% happy but still liked the dulcimer.

I think this is a good track record.

So in the near future I will be only selling dulcimers that exist.

If you are on my waiting list please don’t freak out! I am happily working on your dulcimer and you will get it on schedule.

I feel better already.

Categories: Luthiery

Little Wooden Boxes

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 3:34pm

Ink well, New Kingdom, Egypt. H-4.5 cm x L-12.2 cm x D-5.6 cm (1-3/4″ x 4-13/16″ x 2-3/16″). British Museum.

I like to study the everday objects on display in museums and my favorites are the small boxes and containers used to hold all manner of things: keepsakes, love letters, poison, cosmetics and so on.

In ancient Egypt many of the little boxes recovered from tombs were used to hold various cosmetic pastes used by women and men (aka guyliner).

Duck box, New Kingdom, Egypt. H-9.5 cm x D-9 cm x W-15 cm (3-3/4″ x 3-7/16″ x 6″). British Museum.

Boxes were often carved into animal forms with decorated swivel tops secured with wooden pins. The incised wings of this duck-shaped box swing out to reveal the interior.

Plant life was also an inspiration for the shape of these boxes.

Cucumber box, New Kingdom, Egypt. British Museum.

The cucumber still has green pigment in the groove providing another detail on the amount of work that went into these boxes. The dimensions are: H-3.5 cm x D-7 cm x W-3.5 cm (1-3/8″ x 6.9″ x 1-3/8″).

Middle Kingdom, Egypt. MetMuseum.

Not all the boxes were carved or extremely small. This joined box has a sliding lid and is one of the larger ancient Egyptian boxes in this line-up. The interior has three holders probably for glass vials. The dimensions are: H-18 cm x L-24.5 cm x W-15.5 cm (7-1/16″ x 9-5/8″ x 6-1/8″).

As noted above the boxes from Ancient Egypt were found in tombs and were made to accompany the deceased into the afterlife. They were also items of luxury made of imported woods, ivory and faience.

Round cosmetic boxes, New Kingdom, Egypt. MetMuesum.

Two boxes of similar design: wood on the left, ivory on the on the right. Both with pinned swivel lids and compass-incised designs. The dimensions of the wooden box, including the tabs, are: H-5 cm x W-12.2 cm, base diameter-4.8 cm (1-15/16″ x 4-13/16 cm, base diameter 1-7/8″).

Duck box, all sides, New Kingdom, Egypt. British Museum.

The last ancient box before springing into not-as-ancient times is titled the Trussed Duck. I prefer Resting Duck. It is an extraordinary shape. If I were to order a duck box to hold my mascara, or rather kohl, I would not think to order it in the shape of an entree for dinner. For such a small package it has incredible detail. Dimensions are: L-10.8 cm x W-5 cm (4-1/4″ x 2″).

Greco-Roman or possibly Coptic, Egypt. British Museum.

Another joined (and very petite) box with a sliding lid. Dimensions are: H-5.5 cm x D-4cm x W-4.5 cm (2-3/8″ x 1-9/16″ x 1-1/2″).

Turtle box, 7th-century, Thebes. MetMuseum.

The Met Museum does not identify this as a turtle box, but that what it is. The box is carved with both top and sides incised. Here again, the lid swivels to the side but we have the addition of  the turtle’s head acting as the closing mechanism. Dimensions are: H-5.4 cm x W-14.9 cm x D-7.3 cm (2-1/8″ x 5-7/8″ x 2-7/8″).

If, like Chris, you might have inadvertently squashed a brother turtle on the roadway you should probably make this turtle box.

Kerala salt box.

Moving on to India and a very traditional box for the kitchen. Although the box is not dated it is likely 19th- or 20th-century. The box is carved in the shape of a leaf and the pin for the swivel lid is topped with a bud.

Masala-dabba spice box.

Another box for the kitchen from India, dated 20th-century. The interior is divided to separate the various spices used on a daily basis in Indian cuisine. I’m telling you, that swivel lid has worked for thousands of years.

Birchbark and cedar box, 19th-century. MetMuseum.

This is a Micmac box from Ontario, Canada with etched birchbark sides and cedar base and lid. The bark is sewn with reeds. The Micmac are an Algonquin-speaking people.

Nutmeg box, 19th-century, English. Opus Antiques.

Keeping a pocket-sized nutmeg box was the thing to have in the 19th century. A small dusting of nutmeg was added to any dish needing just a bit of spicey sweetness. One nutmeg was stored in the bottom section, the grater was the middle portion, then the top went on. Some people (my mother) sneak nutmeg into a dish (eggplant parmigiana) and then laugh when others (me) can’t figure out why my dish tastes different. The dimensions are (the box, not my mother): L-7 cm, diameter at top-2.5 cm (2-3/4″, top diameter-1″).

From Denzil Grant Antiques.

Whomever made this pallet for the artist was a very good friend indeed.

Earlier in the year I wrote about a 2,400-year-old heart-shaped box recovered from a shipwreck. One of the archaeologist involved in the research figured out how the box was made. You can read about it here.

Suzanne Ellison


Filed under: Historical Images, Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Book Giveaway: Making Wooden Toys

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 9:00am
Wooden Toys

It’s time for another book giveaway! This week I’m giving away a book on making wooden toys: “Making Classic Wooden Toys: 21 Step-by-Step Projects.” Who hasn’t at some point been inspired by a kindly yet mischievous woodworker who gave them a mysterious wooden puzzle and challenged them to figure it out? These days I have my suspicions whether some of the “puzzles” my own grandfather handed me actually could be solved […]

The post Book Giveaway: Making Wooden Toys appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

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