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We don’t know much about David Denning except that he wrote four books about woodworking in the late 19th century, was traditionally trained and had strong opinions about the craft. After reading his 1891 classic “The Art & Craft of Cabinet-Making” many times, I imagine he was a Frank Klausz-like character: He knew his stuff and was happy to let the world know his opinions.
Here’s his opinion on antique furniture: “I assert that it is almost impossible to obtain a really genuine unspoiled piece of oak furniture which has (not) had the misfortune to pass through the hands of a dealer or restorer.” Their work is, generally, “not honest.”
Denning disliked iron planes, calling them “toy-like” and “not used by the practical artisan.”
And unlike many other writers, Denning embraced the use of machines in conjunction with hand tools. On the jack plane he said there is “little occasion for it” when machinery is available. And so the planing can begin with “the trying or even the smoothing plane.”
In other words, Denning sat on the precipice between hand tools and machinery in the late 19th century. Unlike other writers, Denning refused to endorse machines as the end-all, and he swerved wildly away from the Luddite path. Denning was, in many ways, like the modern woodworker who has both options available and can make the most of them.
Because of this particular viewpoint, I consider “The Art & Craft of Cabinet-Making” a classic. The book is a thorough explanation of quality furniture making during the Victorian era. Denning covers tools, workshop appliances, joints, assemblies, veneering and installing hardware in excellent detail. He also covers all the major furniture forms of the time and explains how to make them well (and how others make them poorly).
“The Art & Craft of Cabinet-Making” is available on the antique market or in “print on demand” format, a paperback version where the pages are glued together, not sewn.
I am pleased to say that Popular Woodworking Magazine has done a limited press run of the book and it’s a quality job. It’s printed in the U.S. The binding is both sewn and glued. The hardcovers are cloth-wrapped. The price is only $36, which includes domestic shipping.
You can order a copy here. Do not tarry as there is no guarantee they will do a second press run.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
|one more here|
|layout for the new shelf pin pockets|
|the length isn't critical, the width is|
|tale of two drill bits|
|not too too bad this is the worse one|
|hand drill excels at this|
|set the bit on what is there|
|turned in reverse a couple of turns|
|two cleaned holes on the left and holes to be cleaned on the right|
|doing the back wall holes|
|almost had a blow out|
|no blowouts or partial ones on the second side|
|the minor setback|
|the last time painting (maybe)|
Maine is the most heavily forested US state. Who is in tenth place?
answer - North Carolina
Spending some time in Washington DC last week, my wife and I went to Mt. Vernon to visit George Washington’s estate. After we bought our tickets to the view of the house, we had some time to kill, so we walked around the grounds to see what else was around.
On the right side of the estate near the near the back, was the blacksmith shop. It appeared to be about 15′ x 20′ in size.
We arrived in front and saw one of the blacksmiths making a large hinge. You can see how soaked his shirt is as it was nearly 90 degrees that day. He must lose twenty pounds during the summer working in there.
Here’s a shot of the bench with a scrap iron on the ground waiting for use.
Here are some of the items the blacksmiths make at the estate. What’s really cool is they make axe heads and other tools.
On the side of the shop sat a bin full of coal which stank to high heaven. The smell of burning coal is not a pleasant thing.
I looked around the other buildings for a carpentry or cabinet shop, but found nothing. I find it odd that Washington didn’t have one on his estate somewhere. The only thing I saw was display case inside the museum with this panel raising plane.
Drivel Starved Nation!
I received lots of great questions regarding our Hp-14 Scraper Plane and will attempt to answer them here in this Totally Awesome and Worthless Blog!
Before I answer them, here are a couple of pics of the final design. The pre-order window will open this week and we will make this in two versions, the HP-14 Scraper Plane, and the HP-14 SS Scraper Plane. The later features stainless steel sides as opposed to champagne anodized aluminum and we will only make the SS version once…
This is a really cool tool and we are excited to get going on it!
Now for the questions…
Q. What is the HP-12?
A. It is a tool that will be announced later this year. It’s been sitting “in the can” for almost 2 years now. I have been busy on some other things that has kept us from releasing it.
Q. What is the HP-13?
A. I don’t know… 13 is an unlucky number so it may never exist.
Q. Is the iron crowned?
A. No, and you don’t want it crowned, a scraper plane is designed to make a s linear scrape in wild wood, or in cases where you know you are going to sand the surface after scraping. (You should be able to start with 220 grit after using the HP-14)
Q. Is there a way to “bow” the blade like a cabinet scraper?
A. No, see answer above.
Q. What is the width of the iron?
A. Approximately 51mm.
Q. What is the steel of the iron and hardness of the iron?
A. A2 tool steel hardened to 48-50 Rc.
Q. What is the factory grind of the iron and how thick is it?
A. 45 degrees and it is approximately 2.4mm thick.
Q. Will the HP-14 come with a burnisher?
A. No. (we use the shank of a screw driver)
Q. Will the HP-14 come with depth skids?
A. No. There is no use for skids on this type of plane.
Q. How do you know when the iron gets dull?
A. Oh, you will know. You go from consistent shavings to dust. Dust is not good.
Q. Does the iron get how like a cabinet scraper.
A. Yes, but your hands are far removed from the edge so it is not a concern.
Q. How thick is the sole?
A. Approximately 8mm
Q. Do I need to worry about the sides coming off because of those little black screws?
A. No. The sides are actually press fitted to the sole via metal dowel pins. The screws are insurance and add an industrial aesthetic that I like.
That’s the Q and A so far.
To set up the tool, set it on a flat surface. Pitch the frog at approximately a 60 degree angle and lock in place. Next, you insert the iron (after rolling a hook and with the bevel facing the rear tote) and allow it to seat against the flat surface. We recommend pressing down on the iron firmly while tightening the cap screw. This typically creates a minute protrusion of the hook. Make a test cut.
There is not a depth adjustor on scraper planes, so if you are not getting shavings, either the hook is incorrect or the iron is not protruding from the bottom of the sole. If the latter is the case, repeat the set-up process mentioned above but shim the bottom of the plane off the bench surface with two pieces of thin paper.
When properly set-up, you should get shavings (as opposed to dust) 99.99 per cent of the time REGARDLESS of grain direction. Scraper planes are a must-have tool for serious makers and we think the HP-14 Scraper Plane will exceed your expectations and those of your heirs for generations to come.
The rear tote is a tour-de-force of tool making craftsmanship. Investment cast stainless steel, the tote is polished to a mirror finish and the interior cavities are powder coated jet-black. Lastly, the sides are grained and the tote is fastened to the sole via two stainless steel cap screws.
We think the HP-14 is a real head turner that will make wood grain shake in fear! Pre-order email will arrive sometime later this week.
The post HP-14 Scraper Plane Details from Bridge City Tool Works… appeared first on John's Blog.
I don’t care for gizmos, jigs and silly accessories. So even though I spend a fair amount of time on the lathe, I resisted purchasing the Galbert Caliper for many years. In its place, I used go/no-go gauges, box wrenches and traditional turning calipers (which are the worst). But while at Handworks this year, I broke down and gave Peter $60 for a Galbert Caliper. Today I put it to […]
Among the goals of the #WhyIMake campaign (from infosys.org) is to inspire people to make things with their hands, to spread the importance of maker skills and to share resources for doing so. It began as a foundation aimed toward encouraging children and K-12 educators of underrepresented groups, and has grown into a celebration of the maker movement at large. Among well-known people with whom the foundation has partnered to get out the message are […]
Y’all are funny – picking the winner of the Ridiculous Woodworking Books contest was a difficult task. But I had to choose a winner, so…I chose two. Each of the winners gets a copy of our reprint of David Denning’s “The Art and Craft of Cabinet-Making.” One is Wittefish’s birdhouse homage to one of my favorite books, “Go the F**k to Sleep,” by Adam Mansbach, illustrated by Ricardo Cortes – of which […]
With the “proof of concept” established for the first ripple molding cutter it was time to launch into Model #2. I had my own ideas about its configuration and welcomed similar thoughts from all the others.
Our first step was to install the 8-foot thread screw which was the driver for the moving cutter-head to go up and down the rails. While Travis and John were working on the rails/frame Sharon was drilling and tapping the lignum vitae “bolt” that was attached to the underside of the cutterhead carriage.
In short order we had as assembly with a set of tracks for the cutterhead to ride on, and a platform for the cutterhead centered in the frame. The error in this concept became readily apparent once we started to lay out the bed for the workpiece and the cutter head itself. There simply was not enough room for everything to fit there.
Back to the drawing board, which we flogged constantly throughout the week.
In short order we determined that an off-center location for the drive screw was going to work just fine and once again we were off and running.
While this was ongoing Sharon got the bug to make a new cutting iron to match one of the samples she found most fetching.
Meanwhile I was attending to a problem that became apparent when we were trying to get things working — the legs needed to be splayed in both directions, so I spent some time re-cutting the shoulders of the legs.
With that we were looking forward with excitement to making the new machine run like a champ.
One day in May while sitting in my shop at the end of a long day sipping usquebaugh I found myself staring at this so-called Shaw’s Patent no. 5 Jack plane of mine. It is the Jack plane that I use for heavy stock removal, which means it ends up on the receiving end of some significant elbow grease. As a result, the plane tends to reciprocate the well intended elbow grease with fervent vesication of that part of my hand that flirts with the ribbed edge of the main casting. It got me thinking that the plane could possibly be modified to amend this particular quirk.
You can read a post on how I restored it when I initially got my discombobulated mitts on it.
As you can see here, the slight design glitch with this Sargent plane is twofold. There is a lot of wasted space between the top of the tote and the lateral adjuster. Also the bottom end of the tote slopes downwards, which has the effect that the side of one’s hand tends to end up on the rib of the main casting. Thus a combinations of these two inadequacies coerce the hand of the user into a position much lower than what is needed.
As you can see in the example below, the bottom part of the tote on this Lie-Nielsen low angle Jack plane does not slope down, but runs parallel to the sole of the plane. This design element stops the hand from sliding down too far. I thought that the Shaw’s Patent could benefit from a tote that employs the same strategy. Together with that I could utilize the dead space between the top of the tote and the lateral adjuster by lengthening the tote, which would also aid the user’s hand to ride higher.
I found a piece of Kaapse Swarthout, that would not suffice for any other purpose. This is by far my favourite indigenous species for producing totes.
It was quite a mission to fashion a tote that would fit the plane and at the same time tick the desired design tweaks. I used a combination of the original tote, the Lie-Nielsen tote, and documents on Stanley totes to accomplish the task.
The final product looks like this. You can see how the top of the tote is now much closer to the lateral lever and the bottom of it has a parallel section to hold the user’s hand up. Another neat little trick I discovered is to cut a leather washer to sit between the sole of the tote and the main casting. It makes a huge difference to the feel of the plane when using it. The difference is hard to explain, but try it and you will know what I mean.
The changes to the tote also necessitated a tweak to the length of the tote bolt. Unfortunately it is a change in the more challenging direction i.e. making it longer.
While I was at it I also changed the knob. I prefer a flat section at the top of the knob for my thumb when gripping the front end of the plane with the rest of my fingers on the sole acting as a fence.
The final adjustment I made was to file down the part of the rib in question by about 1 mm and rounded it. After all that the Shaw’s (re)Patent works like a dream. If you prefer woodworking rather than tool tweaking, I suggest that it might be better to buy a Lie-Nielsen plane from the start.
Two years ago this month, I posted a blog about transforming furniture; pieces that open and expand to become more functional and look way more ominous. This table, while not a true transformer, fits more into the Hide-away furniture category.
As I walked through a local antique mall – generally that means junk shop, but there are occasional nuggets to be discovered – I ran across a chunky table. Yes, there are hinges at the middle of its top.
Two years ago, I built a jig to help me cut sandpaper sheets into a few different practical sizes for our classroom. The sizes that we use are eighths, quarters (long strips) and half sheets. The eighths pieces are very useful for hand sanding and for working small to medium sized projects. We mount the long quarter sheet on our beloved Preppin sanding blocks, and the half sheet is useful […]
Here are two planes that are designed to do the same thing: cut a 3/4″ groove into a piece of wood. Both of them are designed to cut across the grain, as they have nickers for scoring the wood. But the implementation of the nickers is quite different between the two planes.
This a closeup of the bottom plane. You can see the nicker on the left, which will score the wood ahead of the cutting blade and the chipbreaker. There’s a matching nicker on the opposite side. This arrangement of a pair of nickers ahead of the cutting blade is pretty common in Japanese planes that are used to cut across the grain.
This is a closeup of the top plane. Here it might look like the cutting blade is on the bottom and a chipbreaker that is advanced too far is on the top, but something else is happening here. What looks like the chipbreaker are actually nickers.
This is the complete assembly of the cutting blade, a pair of nickers that rest directly on the cutting blade, and a chipbreaker that fits between the nickers.
Close up of the business end. Here you can see more clearly how the nickers protrude past the main cutting blade.
Here are the separate parts. From the top, the chipbreaker, the nickers, and the cutting blade.
Clearly, the manufacturer of this plane went to a lot of trouble. Not only are the nickers more trouble to manufacture than a pair of separate nickers, but the nickers are held together with a pin so that they can pivot like a pair of scissors.
I have no idea why anyone would go to the trouble of making a plane with nickers in this fashion. In the years that I’ve been looking at Japanese planes, I have never seen one with this sort of nicker/blade set up. But it is cool. Maybe it just goes to show that there’s always someone in woodworking that’s looking to come up with a different way of doing things, and that just like in western woodworking, there isn’t a single way of doing Japanese woodworking.
I had to go back to the shop tonight and reshoot my pics. It seems you can shoot as many pics as you want without a sim card. The camera doesn't give a warning that there isn't one installed. There was only shot I couldn't get again so it wasn't too bad.
I am not painting these anymore. This is the last coat I am putting on the shelves. Period. And I am thinking of going to back to oil based paint because it hides better and covers better than latex does. This final statement doesn't apply to the exterior of the bookcase. However, I'm betting the ranch that it will take the same 3 coats to cover.
|painted the frog|
|yoke painted too|
|from Wally World $4.95|
Time to go spend a little time with Myles before he goes to bed for the night.
What auto maker made the first armored tanks used by US troops in battle during WWI (september 1918)?
answer - French auto maker Renault no american made tanks were used in WWI
There is an a large workshop clearance auction this Friday 23rd June at Ewbanks Auction House in Guildford. Above is a large board of Cuban Mahogany. You ca view the full catalogue here.
Lots of veneer in thick as well as thin, ideal for restoration.
Some lovely true Lignum Vitae.
A very nice board of Indian rosewood and below a very rare log of Brazilian kingwood, beautiful stuff! I have resisted the temptation to attend, I have enough wood to last a lifetime, or more!
I posted previously a plan for 1 1/8″ hollow and round plan, I realised I made a mistake on the arc and have corrected it. I was 1° off, my apologies for that, so those who downloaded it scrap it and download this version.
Post-Greenwood Fest – finally getting going. I have a few spoons, some copies of the Joint Stool book and a few DVDs left for sale. Here’s the link – https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/june-2017-spoons-book-videos-for-sale/
There’s Paypal buttons for the books & DVDs, if you want a spoon, leave me a comment.
Meanwhile – Hickory Bark. No waiting when there’s a hickory sapling cut in the spring. You gotta get right to them. So two of these were first priority once I unpacked.
This work takes me way back. Way, way, way, way back as Van Morrison would say. I grabbed the leftover hickory saplings after Tim Manney’s demo at Greenwood Fest (one got stripped before I got to saving it – Tim? Pete?) to harvest the bark. I’ve only have a few chances to strip hickory bark in the past many years. Not making chairs or baskets with any regularity meant I didn’t need to pursue it. But, these were right there, and I have some ladderbacks underway, as well as some baskets that need rims & handles.
First off, I shave the outer bark off with the drawknife. This is thick, hard crusty bark.
Here is a detail, showing as I shave off the outer bark, the inner bark we’re after is exposed. In this photo, the first strip is removed. That way, I can see the thickness of the inner bark (or “bast”) – this becomes important.
so next is the task of thinning the inner bark to the appropriate thickness. This is a finesse move. Below the drawknife here (bottom left of the photo) the bark is just about the right thickness – above the knife you can see the yellow/orange striations – I use those as a visual guideline – shave them away & you’re there. Just about.
Then I score through the inner bark down to the wood with the tip of my knife. I make the strip about 3/4″ – 1″ wide.
Then peel the strip up. Never ceases to amaze me.
Some strips are too thick when you take ’em off the tree. You can sometimes split them apart. I scored across the bark to form a tab, then pulled them apart. This is slow, careful work – you have to watch to see if it’s going evenly. Any thick side, pull towards it. Just like riving. I hold the strip between my knees, then use my thumbs & forefingers to peel them. My other fingers help keep things peeling evenly.
If a strip is too thick, but not thick enough to split, I put it on the shaving horse, and shave it with a spokeshave. I put a support stick under it. You can shave this later, once you’re using the material – but I find it best to do it right off the bat.
Coil ’em & store to dry in an airy place.
The first log was clear enough for some long riving & bending wood. I made some basket rims, then shaved two of these bows for firewood carriers. This one is shaved to shape, steamed & bent onto this form. I took no pictures of any of that. I shoot my own photos, and steam-bending requires complete attention. This firewood carrier is detailed in Drew Langsner’s Green Woodworking – as is peeling hickory bark.
The base will be an open framework, this board is just the drying form for the bend.
Lumber from large commercial suppliers typically comes with straight-sawn edges. But when you saw your own logs or buy from smaller outfits, you have to find your way along the live edges and around the defects to get the best yield from a board. Or maybe I shouldn’t say you “have to”; a happier way of thinking about live-sawn lumber is to realize that it affords creative, structural and aesthetic […]
I’ve been asked to make the keynote address at the Lie-Nielsen Open House on July 7-8 and also will give a lecture and demonstration on “Finishing With Fire” and showing how to do it with furniture components.
For the keynote, my topic is titled “The Hand Tool Backlash,” and I’ve been working on it for several weeks now. Previous keynote speakers, such as Peter Follansbee and Roy Underhill, have made such amazing speeches at the Open House that fair ladies fainted and the sick were healed.
Though I’m no professional speaker, I vow to give it my best. (Actually, nothing can best my story about my first colonoscopy. And as I probably shouldn’t tell that particular story, this will be my second best.)
Finishing With Fire
For my demonstration at 3 p.m. Friday, I’ll be assembling and finishing one of my three-legged stools with a gas torch and a mixture of linseed oil and beeswax. I’ve been experimenting with this finish for several years now and have figured out how to make it really easy, even for fire-fearing scarecrows.
Also, I’ll be happy to sell the completed stool to anyone planning to attend. These stools are $175 and are made from Southern yellow pine. I’ll be happy to customize the stool for your height on the spot. If you’d like the stool, send a note to email@example.com, and I’ll reserve it for you.
About the Event
The Lie-Nielsen Open House is a fantastic family event with lots of demonstrators, toolmakers and food. In addition to me, other demonstrators include Christian Becksvoort, Danielle Rose Byrd, Phil Lowe, Peter Follansbee and Peter Galbert.
Also attending: Megan Fitzpatrick of Popular Woodworking Magazine, planemaker Matt Bickford, Tico Vogt of Vogt Toolworks, Isaac Smith of Black Burn Tools, Joshua Klein of Mortise & Tenon Magazine, furniture maker Freddy Roman, miniature maker Marco Terenzi, Kenneth Kortemeier of the Maine Coast Craft School, chairmaker and toolmaker Tim Manney, Mason McBrien from the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, planemaker Scott Meek, Bob Van Dyke from the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, planemaker Dan Schwank, saw sharpener Matt Cianci, Wes Sutherland from the Guild of Maine Woodworkers, bowmaker Stim Wilcox, Rory Wood from Rare Woods, boat maker Kevin Carney, Steve Branam from the Close Grain School of Woodworking, Chris Kuehn of Sterling Toolworks and Travis Knapp of RareWoods.us.
Whew, that’s the longest list of vendors I’ve ever seen at the Open House. Should be great.
Note, I won’t be bringing any Lost Art Press books or Crucible tools with me. But Lie-Nielsen carries almost our entire line and those will be available for purchase at the event. As always, I am happy to sign your books (or anything else you put in front of me).
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Uncategorized
Here are some Asians who rock covering AC/DC’s “Back in Black” to start your week. Bonus: a vocal performance that rivals any metal band I can think of.