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Growing up I thought everyone had a Bridgeport in their garage – or at least had access to a vertical mill at their dad’s shop across town. Little did I know at the time that growing up in a machine shop wasn’t necessarily normal. My father instilled in me at a young age a belief that there’s nothing that can’t be fixed – even if you threw away the […]
2017 May 20-21, is the date for the Second edition of woodworking meeting "Due Giorni per le Mani", a woodworking event focalized on hand tools and where experts, passionate people and tool makers will exchange their personal experiences. The meeting will be organized by the Cultural Association "La Malaspina" and the magazine "legnolab" in Viterbo, an artistic medieval town between Rome and Florence. So, if you are planning hollidays in Italy in that period, could join your woodworking passion with your artistic trip. Free entry!!
If you have a Rikon 10-324 or 10-325 14″ Bandsaw, and are sick of all of those hex wrenches, you need the Tool-less Blade Guide Upgrade Kit. Install this kit on your bandsaw in minutes and enjoy the simplicity of tool-less spring-loaded guides.
Find out more about the Tool-less Blade Guide Upgrade Kit in this 12 minute video.
The post Product Video: Tool-less Blade Guide Upgrade Kit for Rikon Bandsaws appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
I did a couple of presentations last weekend at Fine Woodworking Live; a seminar put on by the magazine. It was a sold-out affair, and seems like everyone had a good time. With the magazine staff, the presenters and the attendees there were close to 300 people there. All trying to consume as much information about woodworking and furniture-making as possible.
My talks were 90 minutes, and it’s hard to cram everything I know into that time slot. Because my work is so closely based on studying period pieces, I tried to show some examples prior to my demonstrations. This blog post will flesh out some of what I was talking about.
Al Breed came to one of my sessions, and asked about the insides of the mortises; is there any indication that the joiners bored them first? My reading of the evidence is that these narrow mortises, typically about 5/16″, are just chopped. No need to bore them first. These shots (scanned from slides, thus not as sharp as they might be) show the inside of the top front rail of a chest from the Smithsonian. The chest was made c. 1640-1670. Oak. The joint is broken open near where the till parts fit. One of the nice things about oak is how well it splits, but that’s a drawback too.inner front rail, smithsonian chest
Here’s a detail of that joint, showing the chopped bottom of the mortise, in the first photo you can also see the angle of the mortise’s end grain cuts, and the trimming of the tenon’s edges.
This chest has a joined front fixed to board sides and back. So a blending of a board-chest and a joined chest. Two pieces built this way survive from this shop.
To me it’s not a surprise that this joint blew apart, the surprising part is that more didn’t. I have written before about how much wood is cut away right were all these parts converge – the mortises for the top rails, the grooves for panels on front & side, the notches for the till side and till bottom, and the mortise bored for the till lid. It’s like a game of connect-the-dots.
here is part of that earlier post:
First, the two mortises, for the front and side upper rails. These are 5/16″ wide by about 3 3/4″ high. The one for the front rail is about 1 1/2″ deep, the other about 1 1/4″ deep.
Each has two 1/4″ holes bored in them, those for the front rail go all the way through the stile.
There is a groove running along each edge, into these mortises, for the beveled panels.
Additionally there is a notch cut across the inner face of the stile for the till bottom. this notch is about 3/8″ wide and about the same depth. It is positioned so that the till bottom is flush with the bottom edge of the upper rails.
What is missing from this photo is one more assault on this piece of wood – the hole bored into the stile for the hinged end of the till lid. This hole is usually about 3/8″ in diameter and about 1/2″ deep, and right near what will be the top end of the stile, after the extra wood is trimmed off the top. It will be about 3/8″ away from the mortise for the side rail.
Another thing we discussed (I think this was a breakfast discussion…) was the backs of pieces. Chris Becksvoort was telling us about Shaker work, Al Breed about Newport 18th-century work – I chimed in with a group of chests and cupboards from Plymouth Colony from the 2nd half of the 17th century. Here’s the surviving section of a chest with four drawers; in “as found” condition.
Look inside, the inner face of the rear section is a bit firewood-like. (the strap hinges are replacements) Narrow oak panels, with muntins that have large torn-out sections from riving them:
And a knot in one, and panels with riven texture – not planed smooth.
Sometimes the insides have fully-formed moldings on the framing parts. These get covered up as soon as the chest is filled with textiles. Some Boston joiners did the same thing.
All the chests and cupboards from this large body of work use employ chamfers on the framing parts on the side elevations; usually stopped chamfers. You see it below on the lower edge of the horizontal rail:stopped chamfers
But they did it too on the rear elevation. Sometimes smooth transitions, sometimes stopped chamfers. This is the part of the cupboard or chest that gets shoved against the wall! Hard to understand the outside being so neat when sometimes the inside is just this side of firewood.
My very talented friend, Jack Mauch, just completed a great looking door made of many segments of veneer quilted together to create a clever geometric pattern (aka parquetry). Each of the segments received a dip in a bath of fire hot sand to shade it accordingly. The project is marvelous and the video that depicts it, by Jesse Beecher, is a treat to watch. To learn more about the project […]
One of the most frustrating parts of using a smooth plane is when you have a low spot on your board that simply refuses to be planed out. There are several strategies. Here are just a few: Just keep planing as usual until you are an old man or woman. Drop down to a coarser plane (such as the jointer). But this could introduce tear-out. Increase the depth of cut. […]
If you’re in the New York area, Douglas Brooks will be giving a talk titled, “An Apprentice Boat Builder in Japan” on Wednesday, May 10, at 6:30 pm. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go, but knowing his story, it should be a fantastic talk.
A short while back a did a post on a Norris cutting knife and included a link to a batch made by Oliver Sparks. You can see my post here http://davidbarronfurniture.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/norris-mount-cutting-knife.html
I ordered one of Oliver's knives which is beautifully made, here is a shot showing the difference in scale with the Norris. The OSM knife is just 4" long and 5/8" wide and fits really nicely in the hand.
The knife came with a spear point blade which is razor sharp. It also comes with a blank blade which I sharpened to the profile I'm used to using, with a bevel on each side of the blade. I find this profile is easier to use for marking both sides of dovetail pins and it's also a lot easier to sharpen.
Sharpening is done on the angled back rather than the fine bevels and this very quickly re establishes a fine point.
Oliver does everything in house and I'll leave you with a close up of the knurling.
Good news, everyone. “Roman Workbenches” has arrived in our Indianapolis warehouse and looks stunning. When I got word that it arrived at 2:39 p.m. on Monday I dropped everything and drove to the warehouse to grab some copies.
If you ordered a copy (or hope to), please read the following crap carefully so you don’t give poor Meghan Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org an aneurysm.
We will ship these out as soon as we can, but it will take some time. Our warehouse has to schedule an assembly-line process when fulfilling big batches of new titles. That takes time. I hope they will finish up in the next six days.
You might receive an email from our store indicating that your book has shipped. Depending on how the assembly line is going, it might take a couple days for your book to hit the mailstream after you get that email.
If you are an international customer, please be patient. It takes three weeks on average for a book to travel from the United States to anywhere else. And then it can be delayed in customs. Or toads.
To sum up, I’m asking for a little patience with this shipping process. Since we switched to SmartPost we have lost only one or two books (out of 60,000). So you will get your book, I promise.
The Good News
We will have some more copies of this book to sell soon. Thanks to some great work on the press and at the bindery, we had almost no waste. So we expect to have as many as 120 more copies to sell. However, we first need to fulfill everyone’s order and replace any copies that are damaged in shipment.
So later in May we will make an announcement as to how many books we have to sell and when they will go on sale.
And if the price for the letterpress version is too steep, know that we will have an inexpensive version printed on modern offset presses later this year.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
It was a different story by the time I got home from work. I had dull, throbbing ache in my lower back that no matter what I did, it wouldn't go away. It's not as bad as it was on sunday, but still bad enough to be annoying. This is also the first time my back has hurt going into a second day. I'll putting the heating pad on it tonight.
So because of that and not wanting to aggravate it anymore, I skipped woodworking in the shop tonight. I still went there but I didn't use any tools or make shavings. I picked up on the ebonizing that I stopped a week or so ago. Can't hurt the back stirring powder in water or slathering liquids on a few pieces of scrap wood.
|lost about 3/4" of inch|
|fresh tannic acid|
|first batter is NZ pine from Lowes|
|tannic acid and iron applied to NZ pine|
|walnut turned black|
|white pine dipped in tannic acid first|
|the white pine after being dipped in the iron|
|the ash test piece|
|iron didn't turn it as black as I had hoped it would|
|my test piece from the last outing|
|this is not very encouraging|
|about ten minutes later|
|both pines are getting darker|
|this is disappointing|
|the sink clip from hell|
|strange way of clipping on the sink bottom|
What is a fugio cent?
answer - the first official one cent coin minted by the United States in 1787
I recently spent a day turning small-ish spindles for a project now on the home stretch. The overall length of the spindles was roughly 12″ with a maximum diameter of ~3/4″ and a minimum of ~1/2″. This was one of those times I really appreciated the four-jaw chuck I bought many moons ago as I could easily switch from square stock to round stock in a matter of moments.
Given the delicacy of the spindles, and despite the fact that I was using some excellent old-stock true mahogany, I could not hog off the material and needed to be fairly conscientious about the detailing which included several beads that were just a smidge shy of 1/8″. I had previously tried many turning chisel combinations for the effect without easy success, and even ordered a so-called 1/8″ beader made by Sorby. Though a fine tool, apparently one of us does not know how to measure 1/8″ so I just hung it back up on the rack hoping to someday have a project where I need to turn some fat 5/32″ beads.
For a brief moment I thought about re-making the tool into something more useful for this project, but instead I cast my eyes on the worthless parting tool (is that redundant?) in the rack. I do not find the spear-point parting tools to be at all useful, and certainly not this dog, so I instead I decided to turn it into the beader that I needed. So I did, with my Dremel and slipstones and a half hour. It now works exquisitely. I tried it out on a practice piece and was very pleased. You can see how Ihad aready turned some of the beads into chum by other methods.
For other detail work on these spindles I took a few surplus plow plane irons and ground and honed them into shapes that fitted my needs perfectly (including a parting tool that is worth the title). I have some additional plans for more unused plow plane irons and will document that at the time.
One final old favorite that became a treasure was the pile of tongue depressor sanding sticks I made some time ago. These are great for providing delicate shaping (using the 60-grit side) and a fine surface with the 180 grit side, keeping my fingers out of harm’s way the entire time.
Sunday 16th April 2017 Most metal had long since corroded in the rigours of a corrosive salt washing of 5 centuries or so, but handles are almost always obvious. Combine that with location and the pieces literally come together. Had it been for me to be a part of the discovery I’m sure I would …
Mike and I got back last night from Fine Woodworking Live 2017 in Southbridge, Mass. We had such an amazing time catching up with and meeting a few new woodworkers that we look up to so much. The show was Friday through Sunday with several presentations each day.
With the possibility of my wife delivering our third baby in the next few weeks, Mike and I decided to take separate cars in case I needed to head home early. The drive down was a nice quiet before the storm of endless faces and fellowship. We arrived Thursday night at our super sketchy Days Inn hotel so that we’d be ready to set up at the conference center the next morning. Fortunately, that first night was relatively quiet, unlike the drinking parties and rampaging woman in the hallway the other two nights. For the record, I would not recommend the Days Inn in Sturbridge, Mass.
Friday morning, we set up our usual booth display with the portable Nicholson bench, chests of tools, and the barn board backdrop. We always get comments about how elaborate it all is. Truth is, although it is a full display, we’ve got it down to a science and can pretty quickly take it down when we need to thanks to the cordless drill and Torx screws that hold it together. Ben Strano at FWW took great delight in busting us using a (gasp!) power tool to assemble the display! It caused quite a stir on their Instagram account. “The industrial revolution consumes another soul”, one reader commented! Ha! We woodworkers have a zany sense of humor. Good catch, Ben!
In all honesty, just like at Woodworking in America, I was a bit nervous about bringing my atrociously utilitarian Nicholson bench to such a high-class woodworking event. I mean this is “FINE Woodworking” after all! I’m comfortable with the bench because it looks like (and I treat it like) all the surviving pre-industrial benches I’ve seen. Your workbenches are tools meant to be worked at. If you need to nail something down, do it. If your saw nicks the edge, so be it. If you’re planing boards, it should be rough (toothed), not smooth. (I’ve never understood why anyone would want to try to plane a board on a bowling alley benchtop.)
Almost no one gave me crap about it. Everyone I talked to seemed to appreciate the logic and at least respected it as practical and having historical precedent. My friend, Garret Hack, did razz me a bit, though. He told me I should lightly break the front edge of the bench for our visitors because that would be a lot nicer. I laughed at the idea of the broken edge improving the bench and warned him not to look at the underside because it was a little rough. There was a lot of friendly banter all weekend - the exact kind of humor Mike and I appreciate.
There were a lot of woodworkers to interact with. We got to spend an especially long amount of time talking with Vic Tesolin and Peter Follansbee over the weekend. I look up to these guys so much and so it was an honor to spend all that time visiting and comparing notes. We chatted with Vic about tool texture and about not being precious about your work. We talked pole lathes, wooden planes, homeschooling, and a lot more with Peter. This event was exactly what editor Tom McKenna envisioned for us all: fellowship around woodworking.
One of Peter Follansbee's presentations
Everyone was super busy and there were so many people to see and visit with. There were many people I got to chat with but wish I had more time. It was great catching up with Al Breed, Wilbur Pan, and Andrew Hunter. Al even tried Mike’s maple crook turning saw and said he was impressed! That is high praise, indeed! It was wonderful to finally meet Tom McKenna, Mike Pekovich, Ben Strano of the FWW crew. Tom told us they definitely plan on doing it again next year. We are both looking forward to it.
Thank you again for inviting us, Fine Woodworking! We were honored to be there!
Tom McKenna, at the opening session of Fine Woodworking Live: I'd like to thank Rikon for sponsoring this event, and for donating the bandsaw that we'll be raffling off.
Dyami: Can we fit that in the back of your car?
Me: We'll make it work.
Tom: I'd also like to thank Vic Tesolin for speaking.
Dyami: Can we fit Vic in the...
The good news is I now have a super cool shop apron. #8 duck canvas (or 18 ounce canvas) is some seriously stout stuff. It should last a long time.
One bit of feedback I got from Instagram was white is a bold color for a shop apron. I disagree. It is very traditional. At least all of the old pictures of woodworkers from the 19th century show them with a white apron and a tie.
I don't think I'll wear a tie while I work wood, but perhaps the white apron will motivate me to keep it clean.
Since the last post, I just had to sew on the leather straps and join them together somehow. I had to sew six straps to the apron in order to get the straps to cross over the shoulders and a waist strap.
I joined the leather on the cross straps with some Chicago screws I had laying around. I made some extra holes so I could adjust it, but I figure this is my apron, and once it fits, it shouldn't need adjusting. The waist strap I joined with two snaps, so it can be easily fixed and unfixed. The waist strap doesn't have to be super tight. I wanted to not have long straps dangling all over the place.
|It should be a good apron.|
|Leather treated with BLO on top, plain untreated veg-tan on the bottom.|
|Treatment consisted in soaking the belts in BLO for 20 minutes or so.|
|I've never actually sewed leather before.|
|Using the Speedy Stitcher.|
|A loose ring keeps everything in place in the back.|
|Snaps are inexpensive, and these ones came with a tool and an anvil.|
|View of my best side.|
I've never really used a shop apron before. Please let me know if you use a shop apron.
Celebrity sightings at Fine Woodworking Live last weekend: Larry David (top), Steve Jobs (bottom).
This morning a colleague told me that Graham McCulloch, author of the ShortCuts blog is retiring from the online column after 22 years. Graham has been a voice in the woodworking community for more than 70 years. He has contributed articles to numerous publications including Canadian Woodworking magazine and Family Handyman magazine and has authored numerous woodworking books, including a couple of titles for Popular Woodworking: “The Woodworker’s Illustrated Encyclopedia” and “601 Woodshop Tips […]
Given the presence of this print in Chris Schwarz’ book Campaign Furniture this might be one of the more attention-getting offerings from my inventory during the upcoming Handworks 2017 IN LESS THAN A MONTH! we have Print 249 from the First Edition of L’art du Menuisier, “Plan and Elevations of a Campaign Bed with Its Developments.”
The intricacy of this print speaks for itself. The page is in excellent, near pristine condition. As an added charming feature the plate and the page were not perfectly aligned so the hand-printed image is ever so slightly askew compared to the page margins.
The Plate was drawn and engraved by Roubo himself.
If you have ever wanted to own a genuine piece of Rouboiana, this is your chance. I will be selling this print at Handworks on a first-come basis, with terms being cash, check, or Paypal if you have a smart phone and can do that at the time of the transaction.
You could dispense with the picnic table altogether and make some auxiliary legs that would detach for transport, or even use a saw bench, but, while they would be strong enough, they wouldn't have the mass that the picnic table does, which I found to be quite nice. That's something I may experiment with in the future though.