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Kerfing Plane III

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 5:24am

With the initial endeavor into making a Tom Fidgen-ish  kerfing plan resulting in a functional tool, I needed one last step to make it worth keeping on the shelf.  Since the body of the plow plan was so short, the tool had a tendency to try to flip forward as I was using it aggressively.  So, I fashioned a handle for it based on tracing one of my favorite hand saw handles.

Like a lot of things I make in my shop, especially when prototyping, the handle was from a scrap piece of wood from the scrap box, cut with a coping saw and in this case simply glued to the body of the plane with yellow glue since I did not want to whip up a new jar of hot hide glue just for this.

I got the orientation of the handle a little high, angle-wise, but it lengthened the profile of the plane so that I could really get to it.  With a new blade in its proper orientation (not pictured) it works like a charm and sits in a handy place right over the planing beam.

It was a great introduction to the tool and I thank Tom Fidgen for introducing it to me.  The plow plane starting point was a good one for me, but the final result was a bit clunky in my hand even thought it preformed exceedingly well.

But I wasn’t done yet.

maintenance shop day......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 03/18/2017 - 12:09am
A quick mini rant against Window 10. First let me say I understand the importance of updating my computer. I know how to do it, I know when to do them, and most importantly, I always did them. Not only is Windows 10 trying it's hardest to turn my laptop into a cell phone it has now taken away my ability to install updates when I want to do them.

I have updates set to ask me if it can install an update. It doesn't do that. Instead it installs them without asking me and then tells it is going restart. It happened to me tonight where I got the update installed message and do I want to restart now or later? I picked now to get it over and done with.  37 minutes later it was complete and I could use my computer. This sucks not having this control over my own computer but having to wait and not having use of my computer sucks even more.

a surprise
I had ordered these back in Nov of last year. They were back ordered but I told Lee Valley to ship them when they were available. I got an email wednesday from them saying it had shipped. I had to look up the order because I had forgotten what it was. They came in today.

 I've been told the old nails looked like this
squarish shank with a point
the shank isn't centered on all of the heads
My opinion on nails and furniture changed after I saw a lot of shaker furniture up close and personal at the Shaker village in New Hampshire, the village at Pittsfield Massachusetts, and Pleasant Hills village in Kentucky. I was surprised at how many nails I could easily see in the furniture. There didn't seem to be any attempt to hide them at all. I don't remember them looking like these though.

speaker clamps
They aren't very pretty but they won't be seen and they will secure the speaker in place.

gluing them in place with OBG
my small screw stash
Once the glue has set up I'll add a couple of screws on each side to help hold them down.

my maintenance pile
 I have ten plane irons to sharpen and 5 chipbreakers to fettle. I'll be doing this for a while. The first batter is the chipbreaker for the #8 iron. The iron has been sharpened already and I need to fettle the chipbreaker.

the patent date on this chipbreaker is 1867
I got a flat from side to side and this is ready to road test.

stropped the leading edge
I think getting the leading edge shiny and smooth helps the shavings to easily pass up and over the hump.

nice pile of shavings
no shavings in the space
I wasn't sure if I saw light under the chipbreaker but I made a bucketful of shavings and I don't see any shavings etc in there.

it's a record iron
I have had this iron since I was in the Navy. I don't remember where or how I got it but I finally have a plane to put it in.

which pile is the Stanley and which is the Record?
You can't tell by looking at these which iron made them.

#3 iron
My sharpening education continues. This iron was in the #3 plane and it made good shavings but it felt like it was dulling so I swapped it. I ran it about 10 times on the coarse stone and only felt a small burr on the two corners. Things like this puzzle me. I expected to feel a burr straight across. I'm using a honing guide and I set the projection the way I always do. So why no continuous burr?

bevel is shiny
I'm finding out that this shiny bevel doesn't mean diddly squat. The burr on the back means more than this.

the reason why
The spot where my finger is at has a small flat where the toe of the bevel meets the back. This is also the area where I didn't feel a burr.  Last year I wouldn't have looked nor felt for a burr. I assumed then that I was using a honing guide so I didn't have to. After all, I got a shiny bevel and a shaving coming up from the mouth.

I do have a couple of irons that I get a burr raised on but most I'm finding are like this one. I think I'm going to have to go through each and every iron and re-establish the bevels until I get a continuous burr on all of them.

spokeshave iron
 One side of this iron will make shavings and the other side won't. I have a nice shiny bevel but with a magnifying glass I can flat on the side of the spokeshave that won't make a shaving. I had thought that I wasn't using the right technique with the spokeshave. I thought that was the problem and not the iron not being sharpened properly.

Spokeshave irons I do free hand because they are too small for me to grip with just my fingers. My thanks to Paul Sellers for showing how to make this holder for sharpening these small irons. I still have more to learn about sharpening even though I think I have a lot of knowledge about it.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
How many teeth do turtles have?
answer - none, they have horny beaks similar to birds

Mistakes Were Made…

The Furniture Record - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 10:44pm

There is a fairly common type furniture, many variations with the word setback almost always being in the name. Usually made in two pieces, stacked with the upper section being shallower than the lower. They often look as if they could exist as two pieces of furniture. The base of the upper section is the same as or reflects the base of the lower section as in the following examples:


China on server?


Just a setback cupboard.


The same only primitive.

I ran across this piece in a Raleigh antique/consignment shop. I believe mistakes were made in stacking:


Just don’t look right…

(Although this style is fairly common, I still had to go through 8,000 picture to come up with these the three exemplars. I really need to get an intern.)

Shop Update for 3/17/17: Boring a Through Mortise

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 1:18pm

Save This Technique for Large Mortises

I got a lot of questions after I chopped out a through mortise last week about whether boring the mortise is a valid approach. So this week I used my brace and augers to bore out the bulk of the waste and then pare back to the lines. I think you will see that the process is not actually any faster. But when you have really large mortises that exceed the sizes of your chisels, boring out the waste definitely makes sense.

Categories: Hand Tools

Drawer Runners

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 12:35pm

FIG. 1. CUT-AWAY VIEW FROM REAR OF SOLID END CARCASE. The runners rest in grooves so that they are supported throughout their length. No glue is used (except at the stub-tenon at the front) as this would cause the ends to split in the event of shrinkage.

This is an excerpt from “The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years: Volume II” published by Lost Art Press.

That drawer runners must be strong is fairly obvious, but there are other equally important considerations to be kept in mind. For example, they must be square with the front and be free from winding. The latter point may not always be apparent. Glance for a minute at Fig. 2, which represents a cabinet seen from the side with the end removed. If the distance between runners and guides is measured it might well happen that it would be the same everywhere, and the work might be passed as in order. But the drawers would not run properly owing to the runners being in winding. This is a detail over which it is easy to trip.

When there is just one drawer occupying the whole space in a carcase it generally runs directly on the bottom, and the top acts in place of kickers. In a similar way the cabinet sides are virtually the guides. When there are several drawers, or when the lower part is occupied by a cupboard, however, it becomes necessary to add separate runners, guides, and kickers. The method of fixing these depends primarily upon the construction of the cabinet itself. For instance, the fixing in a cabinet with solid ends is rather different from that in one having panelled ends, because in the former allowance has to be made for shrinkage.


FIG. 2. IMAGINARY SIDE VIEW OF CABINET. The runners are in winding so that, although the distances shown by the arrows are all equal, the drawer would not run properly.


A reliable method for these is given in Fig. 1. It will be noticed that the mid-drawer rail is grooved at the back. This is to enable a dustboard to be fixed, but it incidentally provides a useful means of securing the runners, the front ends of which are stub-tenoned. When no dustboard is required the groove is cut in locally to provide a mortise in which the stub-tenon can fit. The runners are grooved with the plough at the same setting, then when the stub-tenons are cut it is merely necessary to make them line up with the groove.

It will be seen that the runners rest in grooves worked across the ends. This is essential for a really strong job because the grooves offer direct resistance to the downward pressure of the drawers. It is important, however, that no glue is used for fixing because, in the event of shrinkage, the ends would be liable to split. The best plan is to glue just the tenon and drive in a skew nail, partly to force the runner tightly home, and partly to hold it whilst the glue sets. At the back a screw is used, the wood being cut away to remove the groove and to enable a shorter screw to be used. Note that a slot is cut for the screw rather than a round hole. This enables the end to draw along the runner in the case of shrinkage, so avoiding splitting. The screw serves to hold the runner in place rather than to provide direct support.

Since there is no end to which the centre runner can be attached, another method has to be adopted here. It depends in a measure upon the kind of back being fitted. If there is a fairly substantial muntin in the middle it is often possible to cut a groove across it and allow the back end of the runner to rest in this. If this is not practicable the simplest alternative is to introduce a hanger at the back, as shown in Fig. 1. This can be conveniently dovetailed into the top rail. At the bottom it is again dovetailed, this time into the runner itself. The fixing at the front is by the stub-tenon as in the side runners. Skew nails again are advisable to prevent any tendency to pull out. Both edges are grooved for dustboards, and in this connection it should be noted that the back dovetail is set in at each side sufficiently to clear the grooves easily.

A guide is needed in the middle, and the best form is a plain square of wood glued and screwed directly on top. It is a good plan to make it slightly tapered in width so that there is a trifle more width at back than at the front, so giving easy clearance for the drawers. This is not essential, however. Many workers prefer to make the job exactly the same size back and front. What is important is that there is not less clearance at the back.

When there is a solid top to the carcase this prevents any tendency for the drawer to drop when opened.

Sometimes, however, a couple of rails are substituted, as in Fig. 1, and this calls for the use of a kicker as shown. One only is needed because the rails are built out in their width at the ends and provide the necessary support. The strongest method is to frame the kicker between the rails before the last named are glued to the ends. Alternatively, a stub tenon can be cut at the front only, the back being butted. There is sufficient give in the wood to enable the tenon to be inserted and the back pressed down. A couple of nails can then be driven in askew, one at each side.

Meghan Bates


Filed under: Charles H. Hayward at The Woodworker
Categories: Hand Tools

A happy customer

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:21am
Some lovely feedback from a recent customer. Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking


Northwest Woodworking - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 11:08am

I have a Hand Tool Shop class running this week with a fun group of folks trying their hands at this work. Being at the bench to the untrained eye looks like a picnic. Simply pick up your tools and build something. How hard could that be?

At craft shows I would inevitably have someone come up to me and say, “You know if I had the tools I would do this myself.” I could only smile at them. If you had the tools, you would have built it already, but tools aren’t the problem. It’s the knowledge that is. And once folks realize what a world this woodworking opens up for us, they understand how much there is to know.

One of my lecture topics this week was Flow. I realized how important it is to my productivity, my happiness at the bench when things go smoothly. Which is why disrupting things at a critical moment is so disturbing. I was on a roll, work was getting done, and then something interrupts the Flow. It could be that I lose a tool, or a jig breaks, or I go to find that board I always to use to brace this job and I can’t find it.

Building this work is challenging. Woodworkers when they admire a piece, they see artistry and form, or skill and joinery. They also see the time and effort that went into the piece. They know deep down how much Flow it took to arrange all this wood into the correct pattern to create the work they see before them.


1-Dovetail corner1






Categories: Hand Tools

A Couple of Celtic-influenced Projects

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 10:25am
celtic knotwork

I don’t always post holiday-themed projects, but hey – with my heritage, I can’t pass up the opportunity to share some Celtic knotwork in celebration the Emerald isle. So here are a couple woodworking articles from our archives that feature Celtic carving (though the “Peasant Chair” has a distinctly Moravian flavor to all but the carved back). Both the “Celtic Love Spoon” and the “Peasant Chair” predate our digital files, […]

The post A Couple of Celtic-influenced Projects appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Tool Sharpening for a Beginner, Part 2: Sandpaper on Glass

Highland Woodworking - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 7:00am

Amy Herschleb attend Jim Dillon’s Hand Tool Sharpening class at Highland and came away with a new appreciation of working with sharp tools. In this series she will go into thoughtful detail on the 3 methods of sharpening Jim Dillon taught. Today she covers Method 1, Sandpaper on Glass.

The first technique we learned was sandpaper on glass, the simplest and cheapest way to get started, though the most expensive method when used over time. The price of sandpaper eventually will exceed the short-term savings of a quick setup. We used wet-dry sandpaper (dry to minimize the mess in the workshop) beginning with 180 grit.

The first directive was to flatten the back of the blade. By drawing the blade at an angle in a single direction, a diagonal hatching is achieved. When the entire back is thus marked, we move on to 220 and change the angle of the blade so that the scratch marks now make a cross-hatching. When the back of the blade is entirely changed to this opposing diagonal, we move up a grade of sandpaper, and so on until we reached 2400 grit.

At 2400 we achieved a mirror-like surface, from which no further refinement was necessary. All that remained was to remove the burr left on the front of the blade by dragging the front of the edge, ever so lightly, against the sandpaper, then gently wiping the back on it. This technique, called “backing off”, prevents the edge from being crushed or otherwise deformed by being pushed against the burr, which is barely detectable.

For the beveled edge we tried two different honing guides: a side clamp honing guide and the Veritas MK II standard honing guide. These guides support the blade at a consistent angle against the sharpening medium and require a simple measurement to set up (side clamp) or have predetermined settings (Veritas). Chris Schwarz recommends sharpening everything to 35° in his blog, Jim Dillon 30°, and both have made a wooden gauge set to their angle of choice.

Check back next Monday to read Amy’s thoughts about the second of the three basic systems of sharpening she learned.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is the staff writer at Highland Woodworking. In 2015 she and her dad co-founded Coywolf Woodworks, their hobby shop in North Florida.

The post Tool Sharpening for a Beginner, Part 2: Sandpaper on Glass appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Hello Wilbur. What do you think about hollow on the back of the blade (urasuki?) being non-symmetric? There's a blog post of yours from about 6 years ago where you restored a plane blade and flat portions of the back had a very artistic profile. I'm...

Giant Cypress - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 5:48am

Ideally, the ura should be symmetric. If you’re rehabbing a used chisel, there are going to be some factors out of your control if you’re trying to accomplish that. First, you don’t know how well the chisel was made when it was new. If the hollow wasn’t symmetric to start, maintaining a symmetric ura as you use it is going to be difficult. 

The second factor is how well the previous owner(s) of that chisel maintained that ura. They may not have been particularly careful about that.

Having said that, the primary purpose of the ura is to ease sharpening by keeping a small area of steel at the cutting edge. Whether the rest of the ura is symmetric or not doesn’t affect this function of the ura. For me, I try to maintain the ura on my chisels and plane blades to look as nice as I can, but I don’t worry about it too much if it’s not perfect.

In any case, I think the attention paid to the appearance of the ura is a relatively modern phenomenon, especially when you look at lots of examples of used Japanese tools.

Video: Make a Panel-cutting Sled for Your Table Saw

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 4:00am
panel cutting jig

In this video excerpt from “Table Saw Jigs & Fixtures,” Matthew Teague tells you why you might want this jig for your table saw, how to make it, and how to safely use it. Get instruction from Matthew on making 10 more essential table saw jigs on the video download – or better yet, get 24/7 access to all our videos (more than 400 of them on things woodworking!) on […]

The post Video: Make a Panel-cutting Sled for Your Table Saw appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

retrofitting a clock movement......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 12:13am
I am finally getting around to fixing this clock. It is one of two that I have to replace the movements in.  The two movements that I'm replacing were expensive with the two of them costing over $200.  They are/were total crap.  Both kept time but neither of them bim-bam'ed once. Come the first DST change, both clocks went south and stopped keeping time.

I have been making clocks for over 40 years and the quality of the movements available today I would put a step below junk. My favorite seller told me that quartz movements today are only good for 2 years, maybe. I made 27 clocks in the same way that Paul Sellers did for his first woodworking video. Out of those 27 movements, I have had nine movement failures.  All of the movements were made in China.

I know there were quality, long lasting quartz movements for sale once. I have a kitchen clock I made in 1995 that is still running, keeping perfect time. I had a wall clock I made in 1996 (my wife's brother owns it now) that is still running. That movement is still available but instead of having 3 chime rods, it only comes with 2 now. And the cost of it has doubled.

The movements I am using now are German made and cost about $90. They have bim-bam chimes (my favorite) and Westminster with night silence. They have a 3 year warranty which is way better than the chinese ones. I hope that these work out because I have run out of sources to get decent quartz movements.

fingers crossed on this
This is a first for me. I have never removed and put it in a replacement pendulum movement before.

potential problem area
The set back for the pendulum is the make or break point. The replacement movement will work without a pendulum and still bim-bam. I don't have that much meat to remove at the front of the slot. At the back I don't have that problem. This movement will be smashed flat with a sledge hammer once I take it out.

it fits
The pendulum has about 1/8" clearance but I wish I had a wee bit more. The important thing is that it fits in the original slot. I will look at it later and see if I can get a rasp in there and make some wiggle room.

big, easy to read instructions
I glanced over the time setting instructions and they were crystal clear. Some of these movements have instructions that you need a Shaman to decipher them.

not happening
The wire isn't long enough to have the speaker on the door and open and close it. I could splice some longer wires but I'm reluctant to do that. I still have bad memories of soldering wires back on the two movements I'm replacing. I'll have to find another spot to mount the speaker

brass cap nut
For some reason there were two clock accessory bags with this movement. I dropped one brass nut on the deck and I'm lucky I have another one.

sometimes you get lucky
The deck is littered with plane shavings and I found it after looking for it for just a few seconds.

transferring some lines
The instructions say that a series of 1/4" holes drilled in a 2 3/8" diameter circle can then have the speaker mounted over them. I drew a 2 3/8" circle on the inside bottom and I transferred the outside of that circle onto the bottom. Once I had that I drew another 2 3/8" circle on the bottom within those lines.

right over my brand
the ring that will secure the speaker in place

another hiccup
The real estate I have for the speaker ring is less than it's diameter. I don't want to put this forward and potentially hit the pendulum. I marked the overhang and filed it off.

circle only has 2 1/2 not 2 3/8
laid out a grid and drilled 1/4" holes
filed it - no problems doing it
piss ant sized screws
Three of these are used to hold the speaker retaining ring in place.

two screwed in
I had to take the movement out in order to get the top screw in. I did that and when I tightened it down, the other two screws popped out. I'm going to have to come up with another way to secure the speaker. I can't leave it loose on the bottom of the clock.

what I came up with
I marked the outside of the speaker on the edge of this piece of 1/8" plywood. I then traced a line parallel to that 1/8" over to the right of that line. I had to do that so the 1/2" circle would fit over the lip that is on the speaker. I had to quit here because Mickey's big had was on 12 and his little hand was on five. I'll pick this back up tomorrow.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the average heart rate of an elephant?
answer - 25-30 beats a minute

Failing Daily Since 1993

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:50pm

After the 2015 election, I did what every sane American did: I eliminated the annoying people from my social media feeds on both the left and the right who had become singularly obsessed with politics. And then I took another healthy step: I eliminated feeds from the “fake perfectionists.” Who are the “fake perfectionists?” You probably know them. They are the people who post beautiful photos of their work on […]

The post Failing Daily Since 1993 appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

What Does Letterpress Look Like?

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 5:14pm

Roman Workbenches from Christopher Schwarz on Vimeo.

During the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event last weekend several attendees mentioned how they loved that our books were printed via letterpress.

I had to correct them because that’s absolutely not the case. We are printing just one book letterpress, “Roman Workbenches.” All of our other titles are printed using 20th-century offset printing technology. (The most modern way to print – digital – is still too ugly for me to even consider.)

What does offset printing look like? Check out the video I shot at the plant where we manufacture color books.

Letterpress is a physical process that is similar to what Gutenberg came up with, or how we make prints with potatoes. Like all printing, it requires skill and training to get a book that feels like a real book and not some manifesto or corporate annual report.

Today I spent an hour at Steam Whistle Letterpress as Brian Stuparyk and his dad, Ken, dialed in the settings for a plate and began making the impressions for one of the sheets. The short video above documented the process.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Roman Workbenches, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

A small barn for the summer house 10, laying the floor.

Mulesaw - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 2:01pm
After I had painted the windows, I have been busy trying to get some work done on the floor of the small barn. My goal is to get the windows installed and thereby freeing some space in the workshop that will then be used for making some obstacle holders for horse jumping. But that is a bit into the future.
I sawed some 1/2" thick boards on the saw mill that I installed between the joists. These boards are only there to hold the insulation, so they won't carry a lot of weight.
The insulation was added (6"), and a plastic membrane was mounted on top. I am not quite sure that it is needed since there will not be much human activity in the barn to breathe out humidity, and besides it also shields the insulation a bit while I am working on the floor itself.

The floor boards are 1 3/4" thick and are joined by means of a loose tongue.
I have finally gotten around to using my Veritas BU jointer that I bought some years ago at a great price. I use it to joint the edges of the boards before I make the groove for the tongue.

The upper corner is planed off with two swipes of the block plane, so it is just a tiny bevel that will keep splintering to a minimum.

The groove is made with an electric router. A year ago I finally had it with my old router and forked out some real cash and got myself a more professional Makita router. That thing is so much better than the old one, it is easier to hold, it can actually retain the cutter in the desired position and it does a quick job of making a groove.

Due to the width of the boards I am installing them with nails through the top instead of using hidden nails or screws.
I would have liked to use headless nails like I used for the porch, but those are not available in 5.5" so that is why I am using regular nails. They look a bit crude, but it is a barn after all.
They are mounted 5/4" form the sides of each board, and if the board is very wide I also put a nail in the middle as well. To keep the heads aligned, I am using a piece of string to mark out the position.

Olav stopped by today and gave me a hand, and also took some pictures. So all the pictures of today are by the courtesy of Olav.



Floor boards on the right, Merlin half way hidden.

Veritas BU jointer with fence, now in use!

The board is clamped to a 5x5 to be able to stand on an edge.
Beveling the edges of the groove. 

Larch floor board prior to grooving.

Cross cutting. 

Grooving with the Makita.

A router is noisy and dusty but fast.

Merlin is supervising the project.

A finished board with grooves.
Categories: Hand Tools

Guitar build video that’s gone viral!

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 1:27pm

In a remote dusty sunburnt village an old man produces a guitar with nothing more than a handful of basic hand tools.  One would think the build would turn out to be a blocky piece of chopped up wood that resembles nothing more than a cigar box  guitar, don’t get me wrong I like those guitars.  But the results were quite the opposite, instead he produces a guitar that is pair shaped with inlays.

This video has been a humbling experience, it reminds me just how lucky we really are. We enjoy the comforts of a multiple bedroom home with swimming pools, double lock up garages, front and back yards, multiple bathrooms, remote lights and doors, windows, air con, internet, iPads, playstations, entertainments of all sorts and still we crave for more.

We all want to be craftsmen and women but never take the first step towards it, we all want more tools yet we struggle with space to store the ones we have.  Mans continual struggle for more is a never ending pit hole he continues to dig for himself.

If this video sends any kind of message it’s this – Get up off your arse and do it.  If you want to be a craftsman then stop being curious about it, stop dreaming and wishing and endlessly looking through tool catalogues and other magazines.  Stop making up excuses of how little time you have, guess what you also have little time on this earth but your still living it so why not make the best of it while you can.  This old man had a vision on how to provide for his family utilising the skills with minimal amount of tools he has on hand in a most inhospitable environment, with zero tourist traffic flow with no etsy or facebook social media marketing going against all odds and he did it.   He is providing for his family and doing what he loves to do.  He is experiencing true freedom and isn’t this what we all really want.

We all makes choices in life based on this most stupid ridiculous statement “oh well it’s the way of the world, there’s not much we can do about it.”  The world does not and cannot make choices for you, you are the one who has made your choice, the world is there to tempt you off your path to true inner freedom and happiness but the world has no ward over you.  It likes to think it does but it doesn’t.  There is one positive lesson you can learn from the corporate world, if you want something then go and get it other than that there is nothing decent you can learn from them..

If you want to become a craftsman then make the effort and put in the hours, if you want to live from your craft then just do it.  Make something no matter what it is, even if it’s a pencil case, make it and go to the markets and sell it.  Then go home and make some more and do it all over again.  Stop counting the hours on how long it took to make, speed will come with repetition but don’t compromise quality for speed.  Start somewhere, do something, start living.


Categories: Hand Tools

Surviving U.S.-made Woodworking Clamps & Clamp Care

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 11:13am

Responding to my post last week on the demise of woodworking clamps made in the U.S., a few readers pointed out that the well has not completely dried out. Yes, we have probably lost the big names in casting, forging and milling of clamps, but a few smaller manufacturers have survived, in addition to new makers who have released some interesting stuff in the last few years. Milwaukee Tool and […]

The post Surviving U.S.-made Woodworking Clamps & Clamp Care appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Lie-Nielsen Show — Houston

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 10:14am

The Heritage School of Woodworking will be at the Lie-Nielsen Show in Houston this weekend. (Friday & Saturday) Information about the show can be found at Lie-Nielsen.com. I will be using hand-tools to create various joints such as the houndstooth dovetail and variations on that, a five point Texas star using contrasting woods and demonstrating the […]

The post Lie-Nielsen Show — Houston appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Kerfing Plane II

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 9:52am

With the encouragement of Tom Fidgen’s presentations at WIA and elsewhere I decided to make an attempt at a kerfing plane.  His enthusiasm and evangelism for this tool has once again revitalized an older form from days of yore and integrates it into our toolboxes now.  Huzzahs, Tom!

This tool from Roubo pretty much validates the utility of the tool.  Being a smart guy like Roubo, Tom re-devised a tool without the knowledge of the master’s work from 2-1/2 centuries ago.  Fidgen & Roubo — creative geniuses separated by 250 years.

Since the iron and especially the skate of the plow plane serves an analogous function as the blade of a kerfing plane, cannibalizing a decrepit one from my junk drawer seemed to be the right place to start.  I’d already added new arms and fittings for the fence at some point the misty past.

I removed the skate and found a near perfect bed to affix a rip saw blade section.

Using a piece from a bow saw blade I bought at Highland Hardware and cut with metal snips and a scrap of brass stock from the scrap drawer I charged forward.  (Actually I mighta charged a little too fast; I fited and drilled the blade and retaining bar with the blade running in the wrong direction.  Sigh.  Still it worked surprisingly well, but in the end I made a new blade and bar.)

The assembly was pretty straightforward, although drilling through the saw blade was a bit of an adventure.



It was time to give this cobbled-together tool a test drive.  Magnifique!

But I was not done yet.

Tool Sharpening for a Beginner, Part 1

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 7:00am

With the constant jokes circulating the woodworking workplace, there ought to be an award for who gets to be “the sharpest tool in the shed.” And as a newcomer to the field, until lately I would rank a non-starter.

I have been catching up on my reading, and being drawn to the attractively-bound volume, recently picked up The Joiner and Cabinet Maker, reissued and expanded by Lost Art Press. It contains not only the original 1839 text, but also an historical analysis of the techniques and tools, and then the process of building the three projects contained in the text by the apprentice cabinet maker “Young Thomas.” In one passage, the young apprentice is tasked with making a packing box, and finds the tools common to the apprentices to be in poor shape, befouled by shavings, edges dulled and dinged by nails, and the hone dry and hollowed. Instead of regrinding all three planes he needs, he is helped by his journeyman friend Robert, who lends him a hone to sharpen one plane and a second plane of his own to complete the commission. The protagonist immediately recognizes the necessity of beginning a task with tools prepared to do their job, rather than risking the outcome with poorly cared for tools.

I am not the person to teach you to sharpen. I am perhaps more an object lesson for the maxim “anyone may learn to sharpen,” just as Katy, age 8, is in Schwarz’s reworking of the Joiner and Cabinet Maker. Katy can sharpen, I can sharpen, you can sharpen.

Unlike Katy, I spend my childhood rigorously sheltered from the shop where straightforward carpentry and house-building occurred, and sharp objects in general. At the age of 13, my grandad gifted me a buck knife, I imagine, to the horror of my parents. But I grew up in the grip of that horror, and never did anything interesting with the knife, or anything else sharp, beyond slicing open my knuckle and never telling anyone (… oh).

And so I have carried on into adulthood. I never attempted nor considered it within the realm of possibility that I could sharpen until recently, when I took Jim Dillon’s sharpening class.

As I was not in the habit of bringing an assortment of tools to work every day, I chose a couple bench chisels from our workshop that needed a little TLC (tender loving care, not the 90s girl group. Though woodworking would definitely benefit from an infusion of feminist R&B).

Jim’s philosophy on sharpening grew out of taking classes with Drew Langsner at Country Workshops (or, we could say, was honed by). Langsner proved to be so particular in his sharpening that he would prepare all the tools himself before the class began, but when asked about the angle of a particular tool would answer, “oh… about 30 degrees.” Jim’s takeaway was that “sharpness is crucial, and the way you get there matters, but the precise angle (within a certain range) isn’t nearly important as the edge formed by two highly polished surfaces intersecting.”

In Jim’s class we covered three basic systems of sharpening, from low-tech to high-tech, on which I’ll elaborate: sandpaper, water stones, and the Tormek grinder. I had the opportunity to both learn about these in the classroom, and later, to try them out in the wild, unsupervised and at my own peril. The good news is everyone survived. The better news is that my forays into woodworking are safer and more effective because of learning this vital skill.

Check back tomorrow to read Amy’s thoughts about the first of the three basic systems of sharpening she learned.

Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She is the staff writer at Highland Woodworking. In 2015 she and her dad co-founded Coywolf Woodworks, their hobby shop in North Florida.

The post Tool Sharpening for a Beginner, Part 1 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking


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