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When I purchased my shop building in Covington, Ky., I swore I wasn’t going to open a woodworking school. And, in all honesty, I still don’t want to run a school or return to teaching.
I will, however, allow my friends to use the space to teach classes.
So, in the coming weeks you can look for Megan Fitzpatrick and Brendan Gaffney to offer additional classes at our storefront. Brendan is especially keen on offering low-cost, one-day workshops for locals to introduce them to woodworking, sharpening and woodworking tools. Why? Almost every day people stop by the storefront asking if we will teach them how to build things. (Today, a plumber and a barber asked for classes.)
Megan has a full roster of classes that we have been planning for many months, including a Morris chair design that was made here in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In conjunction with these classes, we also plan to open the mechanical library up for the public to use. The library is still under heavy construction – Megan and I need to build a 12’-long run of shelves to house part of the collection.
So things are changing here – for the better. By the end of the year the Horse Garage will be a fully functional shop with a few good machines. We’ll have space for me to continue my research and build commissions. We’ll have space for Megan and Brendan to offer instruction. Plus rare old books to blow your mind.
One final note: All of our projects begin incredibly small in nature. Lost Art Press sold about 2,000 books its first year in 2007 (we’re up to about 40,000 a year now. That’s a pathetic growth curve for corporate America, but I have only two words for corporate America). Crucible is still in its infancy, as are our plans for the storefront. I want things to grow organically and be bulletproof. No debt. No reaching for things beyond our grasp.
I hope you’ll join us on our slow journey.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
I try to not go out in December. Certainly when I do, I try to only go to places without Christmas music, chaos, traffic and the other trappings of the “season.” The actual season; late fall/early winter, is one of my favorites. Marie & I went to the beach yesterday. I shot a few photos, and when I uploaded them, found some from a beach walk about two weeks ago. (click the photos to enlarge)
Marie & I saw a few scattered sanderlings (Calidris alba) – but this photo of mine is from the earlier walk.
We couldn’t find any loons yesterday; I got this one earlier. I think it’s a red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) – we’ll see.
There were many, many eiders out on the water. Hundreds of them…this photo is a fraction of the flock. (Somateria mollissima)
What we came for was this figure in the dunes:
The first snowy owl (Bubo scandiacus) of the season for us:
Marie’s shot:snowy owl by Marie Pelletier
While I’m raiding her photo stash, here’s her sanderling shot of the day:Sanderling by Marie Pelletier
Time to turn around and head back;
The sun was going down as we made our way back down the beach. I turned & got a shot of the clouds over the Gurnet:
A rare view of Marie – she’s usually behind the camera at Plymouth CRAFT:
One last one, from the earlier trip, Daniel drawing in the sand:
My friend William’s 50th was coming up, and he was also celebrating his graduation. Huh, graduate at 50? Yup. He has several degrees and among them masters. Now he can add a law degree to that list.
So, as we all do I “Binged” the net for inspiration. I looked for boxes and a judges hammer and Gavel. I wish I had of taken photos of the hammer, next time when I go around I’ll take it and post it on Instagram. Anyway, I stumbled upon none other than the wood whisperer’s jewellery box. He took this design from someone else while he was still learning the craft. I thought this is great and settled on that. I didn’t make too many changes as I was pretty happy with it.
I have plenty of scrap lying around as I’ve recently become a hoarder of wood due to increasing costs. I used Silky Oak for the lid and base and American Black Walnut for the sides. This Walnut hasn’t been Kiln dried properly and is the biggest SOB to work with. But since I have it and paid through my backside for it, I might as well use it despite all the difficulties of working with it.
The box measures 9 1/2″ x 3 1/2″. The lid’s thickness ranges from 3/4” to 1″ and this is dependant on whether you want a curved lid or flat. The sides of the box are mortised and the inside of the base routed or in this case chopped out.
Mark used machinery to make his box while I, as always, will only use hand tools. I had to make only one slight adjustment to make up for any hand inaccuracies. Mark would use a table saw to cut a large dado where the item would rest and he would then clean up the bottom with a straight bit router. This meant that the floor of the dado would be flush with the tenon. So, what I did after sawing the sides and chopping out the bulk of the waste was to stop short about 1/16 above the tenon to create a small shoulder with my router plane. As long as the shoulders are crisp and square this would eliminate any unsightly gaps that would have been sticking out like a saw thumb had I followed Mark’s machine methods.
Mark used barrel hinges I had none and used in its stead brass 1/8″ rods I have plenty of and inserted them both in either side.
I finished the box off with Antique Oil, I’ve become very fond of this oil recently. All in all I enjoyed the project thoroughly and am currently making more. One for my mum, my little one, then my niece, my brother in law, friends and so forth.
So in the few past days I’ve taken an interest in box making. You don’t need a lot of materials on hand to work with, which means it’s not cost prohibitive. You work with various exotic pieces learning and understanding the temperament of each species. You also don’t need a lot of tools nor shop space to make boxes. You most definitely don’t need machinery to make them either. However, besides all those materialistic things, for me the biggest draw I have towards them is the challenge. You may look at a box and say wow that looks beautiful and simple to make, but looks are deceiving. The challenge is, there is high levels of accuracy involved, one mistake and that’s basically it, it’s over, you’ve ruined your box. The pieces are small, so some clamping can be challenging. Your tools must be super sharp as it should be with any project, but in this case you need to keep them super sharp, so there is no mishaps when working with your joinery.
I think making boxes is a teacher and a test of skill. Without a doubt you will learn to hone them to much higher levels. Imagine taking those newly honed skills on every project irrespective of what the project size is. Imagine this new high level of accuracy and insane cleanliness you have developed in your work becomes second nature and all this gained just from making boxes. I think I will explore this some more. This may be the training I have been looking for.
If were being honest, woodworking would be a lot more difficult in the winter months without O’Keefe’s Working Hands. I have a container of this at my workbench and by my computer. It is the only thing that keeps my fingers moving smoothly over my tools and the keyboard. I know there are a lot of other hand-care products out there. I’ve tried many of them. But I keep coming […]
The post Anarchist’s 2017 Gift Guide, Day 10: O’Keefe’s Working Hands appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
This is our first run of a planned several set series of vintage themed stickers. Some of you may recognize at least one of these from a set of cards we issued years ago as a promotion for one of the wood shows we exhibited at. We had mostly forgotten about those neat cards were it not for seeing a set at our brother from another mother's house, Narayan Nayar.
So here they are, the first set of three. These are reprints from 19th and early 20th century cigarette cards, once included with a pack of cigs to stiffen the pack and provide a little amusement. We had considered including a stick of pink gum too but alas no one does those anymore.
These should be ready to ship on our website Thursday morning. Price will be $6.00 for all three. Get a set, stick em' on your tool chest or anywhere you want to add some character. 2"x4".
Meet the artists from the December 2017 issue How five masterful makers integrate CNC and CAD technology into their woodworking In the December 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking magazine, the article, Digital Artistry gives the readers a peek at what five professional woodworkers are doing with digital tools in their shops. Each has an extensive traditional woodworking background and many years of experience before they added digital tools like CAD […]
Is there a difference in cuts of copying saw blades with higher TPI? You bet. But the best reasons to make the switch may not be for the reason you’re thinking.
I’m beginning a new project that involves using my coping saw. Whenever I use this tool I immediately think back to my days building houses and installing the trim, especially baseboards. Each corner was coped for a better fit. (You cannot get away with simply butting to 45° cuts.)
Back then we worked primarily in pine.
If you’ve been looking for a better way to finish your work, look no further than the humble card scraper. Card Scrapers can cut finishing time in half, removing glue squeeze-out, leveling across joints and eliminating tearout, while providing a great surface for applying finish.
In the video below, Matt Cremona takes a closer look at Card Scrapers, the unsung heroes in the workshop. Watch the video below to learn the basics for adding a card scraper or two to your own tool kit.
“But what about everyone who lives along those bays and beaches?” I asked, concerned that such a laissez-faire approach to cartography might result in the flooding of countless homes, drowning the pets who lived in them. (Never mind their human inhabitants, who were of less concern to me in those days.)
“Oh, don’t worry about that,” she said. “It’s just a map.”
It wasn’t long before we dispensed with this farce and I sought instruction from the young people who were living in assorted small structures they had erected around our tropical half-acre backyard. I learned to make whole wheat bread, tofu and carrot pizza, and home-churned ice milk, washed my clothes in a puddle, and took cold showers to fortify my character. I dispensed with my hair brush and allowed my dirty-blond tresses to spin themselves into a head of dreadlocks that unsophisticated acquaintances of my parents dismissed as filthy matted hair.In a nod toward formal study, I read several entries in the World Book Encyclopedia each day and was so taken with the one for panpipes that I wrote to the editor and asked for plans that I might use to make a set. I signed my letter Norman Stanley Hippietoe, an androgynous persona I had invented to replace my birth name and gender. I was elated when a letter addressed to Mr. N. Hippietoe arrived in the mail, even though it carried the disappointing news that the publisher could offer no plans for constructing the instrument.–Excerpted from Making Things Work by Nancy R. Hiller
*Fancy Lass-speak for different curriculum. There’s nothing like learning to make tofu and carrot pizza and wash your clothes in a puddle to set a kid up for the discipline and structure offered by the Fancy Lads Academy.
Filed under: Uncategorized
As it is now I have 5 sets of chisels stowed in boxes, scattered around the shop. My bench chisels are kept in a box on a shelf under the right end of my bench. These are the ones that I use 99.99% of the time. The others don't get much use because it is too much of a PITA to hunt them down, clear all the crappola burying them, to use them. The roll around will solve that problem.
|out of the clamps|
|the opposite end|
|a wee bit proud|
|other side is twist free too|
|this side is square|
|opposite side is off a strong 32nd|
|the red felt dresses up the box some|
|the next tool rehab|
|got my parts|
|much better than eBay|
|new fence rod is dead nuts square|
|very snug fit|
|new rod on the left old on the right|
|definitely out of square ( original fence rod)|
|original fence rod|
|road testing it|
|nice feel and easy to use|
|not canted and appears to be straight, end to end|
|quick clean and degreasing of the fence|
Did you know that a hemidemisemiquaver is a musical 64th note?
Katy has made a big batch of soft wax this week – 63 tins that are ready to ship immediately. Click here to order if you don’t need any more information than that.
Soft wax is a nice addition to the tool kit of the finisher or tool restorer. It can be used as a stand-alone finish on bare wood. It imparts just a little color and a little protection. Its advantage is it’s incredibly easy to apply. Because it is so high in solvent (Georgia turpentine), it is easy to rub onto a surface and does not need to be buffed like floor wax. You simply wipe the excess soft wax away for a nice matte finish.
For tools, it helps lubricate the sticky bits and prevents rust. A thin coat is all it takes.
It is not a good finish for high-traffic items (bathroom cabinets) or your hipster mustache. It is high in solvents that could irritate your baby-smooth Fancy Lad skin.
The wax is made in our basement entirely by a 16-year-old who never ceases to amaze me. She is intent on forging her own path through this world without relying on institutions to prop her up. (Sounds strangely familiar.)
You can order tins of her wax through her etsy store here.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
Building furniture without a dedicated workshop or even a workbench has always been a challenge. While there are lots of ways to get around the problem, one of my favorite is what is called the “bureau-shop.” This is where you transform an old chest of drawers into a complete hand-tool shop for light work. The top of the bureau is used as the benchtop (more on that in a minute). […]
I’ve long been fascinated by handmade utility furniture: the kind of stuff made to be used, not admired for the craftsmanship invested in its production. In the early 1980s, I bought an old chest of drawers from an antique shop in Reading, a large industrial town southwest of London, where I lived at the time. It was made of a nondescript softwood known as deal and had originally been painted. […]
Social media to some is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Thos who like Marmite usually have it on toast and turn to it every morning to start their day. It can be the same with Facebook and YouTube. I like it for one or two reasons but the […]
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of blog posts by Richard Jones, who has written a detailed book about timber technology. The book is scheduled to be released in early 2018.
— Kara Gebhart Uhl
I didn’t set out to write a book on timber technology. Doing so was an accident of circumstances. In 2003, I closed my furniture business in Texas, moved home to the UK and started teaching furniture undergraduates at Rycotewood, which I mentioned here. I was given the task of introducing the students to the craft furniture maker’s primary material of wood in the Timber Technology module. I possessed a relatively good expertise in the subject but I’d never prepared and delivered learning materials on it. It was a challenging sink-or-swim moment for me – well, more of an ongoing fight against drowning throughout a 12-week term. But it got easier with practice and as the years passed.
In 2005, I started creating illustrated Timber Tech PowerPoint presentations as learning tools. From that, I converted the PowerPoints into articles to sell to woodworking magazines, a sideline of mine. At some stage in this article production I decided the topic was too involved to be covered adequately in a series of articles in several magazine issues. So, being a bit bloody minded, I decided to create a manuscript covering the key issues relevant and of interest to me as a woodworker. Further, I decided to write it in such a way that non-specialists could understand some of the more challenging elements, and my students were the model non-specialists. Of course, this meant I was writing speculatively, without having a publisher on board – but more on that in a later post.
Most books on timber technology are written by timber technologists for wood scientist colleagues, or students of the topic. They’re consequently a difficult read for the general reader, something probably true of most woodworkers, myself included. Wood science authors assume a certain background knowledge in their expected readership. And why not? They’re generally singing to the choir, or at least aspirant wood scientists. It doesn’t really help the non-scientific woodworker who wants a better understanding of their material as simply as possible. In creating my manuscript I took pains to try and make some difficult science accessible and useful to all woodworkers – carpenters, joiners, furniture makers and so on.
An oak tabletop, such as the one shown above, 1100 mm (~43-1/4″) wide with end clamps (aka breadboard ends) needs allowance for expansion and contraction on the main panel across the grain. A tongue and groove, incorporating three tenons worked in the main panel fit motices in the clamps. The central tenon is glued, and the two end tenons are free to move side to side in extended mortices, but held tight in the main panel with dowels passing through slots in the tenons.
– Richard Jones
Filed under: Timber Book by Richard Jones, Uncategorized
With the shed roof line as straight as we could get it (there was still a tiny bit of dip but I was fearful of literally tearing the building apart if we went any farther based on the screeching coming from the building itself) we began the steady process of assembling in-place the laminated post-and-beam to replace the sagging wall.
We started by assembling the posts complete from three laminae of 2x8s with the center board being off set the width of the beam dimension and notched a couple of inches to serve as the tenons so that the beams could be assembled in-place fairly simply. This also provided good purchase for the concrete we were using as the footer ex poste.
Since the rear corner being the highest, we shot for everything eventually becoming level with it. So as the posts were constructed moving forward, we had to dig out holes in order to make all of them the same length. Once the structure was complete I began the gentle lifting of the front corner with a post and hydraulic bottle jack. Even I was astounded to recognize that the front corner needed almost 16-inches of raising to get everything level-ish.
With that I filled each footer hole with dry concrete mix, and old trick I learned from a deck-builder friend of mine, who said that you could use dry concrete in holes like this and it would absorb moisture from the ground and set in fairly short order. I have used this method numerous times in the past and it turns out he was right.
The following week I dismantled the original wall and salvaged almost all of the material to use as the new 3/4 wall. That new configuration, along with the new structure, has transformed the space from a sagging, foreboding cavern into a robust and airy storage space for the tools and machines necessary for maintaining the homestead. For the moment I have left the rear section of the wall un-built as we are debating the desirability of a door opening there.
I came home from work and was welcomed by a nice surprise. The t shirts have arrived and they turned out pretty good. The ink didn’t run and they feel comfortable to wear.
I know with any printed shirts you cannot put an iron over the label or they will simply melt off.
All in all I’m pretty happy with them. Except for the price of the black shirt. I don’t know why they charge extra for the black.
If anyone would like one, the price for the white is AU$29.90 plus shipping.
The black AU$49.90 plus shipping.
If I get 30 orders then I can order in bulk from another printing company and price it the same as the white.
I haven’t set the blog up for e commerce so you will need to shoot me an email with your colour choice, name and full address and I’ll send you an invoice via PayPal. Once it’s been paid I’ll place an order with the printing company and have it shipped out to you as soon as it arrives.
One thing I forgot to get was a piano hinge for the saw till. I drove right by Home Depot not once, but 4 times, and I still didn't stop and get it. I remembered it after I got home and was feeling a bit smug with myself for being done with my xmas shopping. I'll have to make a pit stop at Lowes sometime this week. That will be a 'dear diary...' entry for sure.
|putting them on the short ends|
|checking the fit of the cardboard bottom|
|the tray fits|
|had to drop the tray down because of the lid stops|
|supports just glued in|
|the knob nut|
|marking the ends of the groove|
|first one done, 7 to go|
|sliding square set to the depth of the groove|
|where it rises|
|missing a piece from the end of the groove|
|can you see it in the pile|
|how to best cut out the panels|
|width is too fat|
|figuring out how to glue this up|
|I'll have to wait a few hours for this to set up|
|the width is a bit too tight|
|sawed some clamping cauls|
|length is too long|
|rehearsing the glue up|
|second dry fit looks good|
|it wasn't as stressful as it looks|
|I added two more clamps after this|
|grinding my big chipped chisel|
|it looks to be square|
|and it is|
|blurry pic of a big flat at the end|
|got a blister to remind of the today's grinding exercise|
|the blister maker|
|a smaller chip to remove|