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‘You Own a Table Saw?!’ – Safety Tips From a Hand Surgeon

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 9:06am

This hand surgeon likes meeting fellow woodworkers – but not at work. by David Shapiro Page 64 From the April 2017 issue #231 Buy this issue I long ago lost track of how many people, upon learning of my interest in woodworking, have puzzled aloud over my table saw. They follow up with, “Do you know how important your hands are?” or, “Do you know how dangerous that thing can be?” […]

The post ‘You Own a Table Saw?!’ – Safety Tips From a Hand Surgeon appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The No. 1 Plane

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 5:48am

It sure is cute – but is it useful? by Clarence Blanchard from the December 2006 issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine Few tools spark the affection of so many as the Stanley No. 1 size bench plane. Regardless of one’s interest, the small plane has a way of catching everyone’s eye. Set one on a table at a tool show and nearly everyone who walks by will stop to look […]

The post The No. 1 Plane appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

drawer glued up.......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 1:50am
As soon as I got home tonight I had to take my wife to go pick up her car. It wasn't too bad traffic wise going until I got to airport road where there was a bad accident. I saw 3 meat wagons leaving the scene and a 4th coming. Going to the shop was ok but I had to drive through the aftermath coming back home. And doing that ate up a lot of shop time.

I do have some good news. I figured out how to put the filters on the camera. I had bought an adapter for the camera, I just didn't know what it's exact purpose was. You take off the existing lens ring (?) on the camera and replace it with this one. You then screw the filter(s) onto the adapter. Got that part figured out and now I have find out which filter is for fluorescent lights and that may be deduced by trial and error.

I can get my dovetails to come together off the saw and they usually hold together good. What I am continuing to struggle with is this. I usually have gaps on the bottom of the sockets and on the inside.

my interior gaps
Way back when I first started I used to have really big gaps on the inside but that was caused by my chiseling. It took a while for me to see it but I was moving the knife wall in the wrong direction. This gap I think will go away if I can get the tail to seat right down to the bottom of the socket.

pin is very tight
In the first pic of the dovetails, I can see the corners still have a bit of crud in them.

this works great
I used this check the squareness of the pins and tails. Two of the sockets had a slight hump in them so that may be partially the cause of the gap in the first pic.

trimmed the pins on both
I trimmed the pins as lightly as I could. I think I got mostly air with tiny shavings. I lightly cleaned the bottom of the tails also. When I checked the fit again, the gaps were almost all gone but I had looser fit. The box was still together albeit not as snug as before.

as far as it will go
sawing the back off
I left the back a strong 32nd over the sides. I'll plane that when the drawer has set up.

found some old drawer slips
too tight
This groove isn't meant for 1/4" birch plywood. That is alright because this slip is two inches too short to use on this drawer.

loose fit on this slip
I'll use this one because it is about 6" longer than what I need.

the top part is history
The loose fit of this works in my favor. The top rounded part of the drawer slip will be sawn off.

finishing up the sawing
what I'm going to do
All my other drawer slips up to now have been rounded over on the top. With the plywood bottom flush with the slip, there is nothing in the way. I have full side to side access with no humps to deal with.

This is the first drawer I can remember that was square after I had clamped it up like this. Both diagonals were dead nuts 10 5/8" on the top. I checked for square on the bottom and those diagonals were both the same. I don't rely on checking with an actual square but this is small so I did it. All four corners, in both directions, were square. I set this aside to set up so I wouldn't disturb it.

planing the top of the slip flush with the plywood

I got a small quarter round that I can use on something else.

I like this look better than the rounded slips

Tomorrow I'll glue the slips in place. I played around with them some before gluing up the drawer to get a feel for how to possibly glue them. I got a few ideas and it will be a touchy feeling thing done dry first before I commit to glue.

I'll have to wait one more day before fitting the drawer so it'll be saturday before that goes down. Maybe tomorrow I'll have my normal allotment of shop time and I can start making the second drawer.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is the only US State with a one syllable name?
answer - Maine

Why You Don’t Need a Half Set

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 5:40pm

A half set. This pictured half set is nearly all that you will need to reproduce the various moulded edges of all period pieces, regardless of period. It’s also much more than many hobbyists will ever need.

This is an excerpt from “Mouldings in Practice” by Matthew Sheldon Bickford.  

When I first became aware of hollows and rounds I read about the heralded “half set.” A half set of hollows and rounds is 18 planes, nine pairs, that incrementally increase in radius from 1/8″ at the low end to 1-1/2″ at the high end. The half set of planes is generally the even numbered pairs in the previously referenced chart. (A full set is 36 planes, and also includes the odd numbers.)

A half set of hollows and rounds is an extraordinarily comprehensive grouping of planes that allows the owner to produce a range of moulding profiles that exist in the smallest spice box and largest secretary. Centuries ago, the half set was often acquired over time.

For many users, myself included, the half set covers an unnecessarily broad range of work, and represents an undue expense. Many woodworkers narrow their plane choice down to match the scale of work that catches their fancy. For example, if you work only with 4/4 stock, then sizes above No. 8 may go unused. Starting with just a  single pair of hollows and rounds – and an efficient method to accurately establish rabbets and chamfers – allows the production of dozens of different profiles.

The simplicity of combining only one convex and one concave arc might seem limiting. There are, however, scores of profiles you will be able to produce with just a single pair of hollows and rounds. These profiles will often contain minute differences – adding a vertical or horizontal fillet, or flat, adjusting the size of that fillet, increasing the curvature or changing the general angle of the profile. These small differences are important and are often glossed over or neglected on a router table.


Small differences. The differences between these profiles can appear as slight. To many woodworkers, however, they are significant.


Examples Continued

Adding a second pair of hollows and rounds to your tool chest, a step I always encourage, increases the number of possible profiles far more than two-fold. Not only will you be able to create the 41 profiles shown above in two different sizes, you will also be able to mix the concave with the convex to form various cove and ovolo combinations and ogees. Additionally, you can mix concave with the concave and convex with the convex to form elliptical shapes. It is at this stage that you will unlock the true versatility of these planes.


Add a pair. A second pair of hollows and rounds will allow you to, when building a chest of drawers, make mouldings that complement each other. They will not be merely derivatives of the same circle.

Meghan Bates

Filed under: Mouldings in Practice
Categories: Hand Tools

The «Skottbenk» from Amana, Iowa in measures

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 1:30pm
The original local Skottbenk at our stand at Handworks 2017

A group of dedicated members of Norsk Skottbenk Union made a trip to USA to see the Skottbenk that Jameel Abraham at Benchcrafted found in Amana, Iowa. Our trip where at the same time as Jameel and his family arranged Handworks 2017, a hand tool and toolmaking event. Handworks is a gathering of like-minded hand tool makers for the beuty of hand woodworking and the tools that go along with it. Traditional Workbenches are a important aspect of this. An important task on our trip was to take measures and documentations of the original Skottbenk found in Amana. Ivar Jørstad have posted in Norwegian about this. You will find all the measures in his post, but for English readers it could be a problem to read his Norwegian. I post the same drawings with English text here in this posting.

A measured photo of the Amana Skottbenk. All meshures are in Inches.

The height are among the higher benches compared to what I know from Norway. The long boards are very short compared to most known benches of this type. It might have been used in Amana Furniture Shop. For jointing parts for furniture or indoor paneling the length would be sufficent. That could indicate the use of this kind of bench in furniture making?

Meashured drawing of the Amana Skottbenk. Drawing by Ivar Jørstad. All measures are in Inches.

All parts of the trestles are made of oak. The two long boards are made of softwood and looks like white pine or something similar. I do hope that this could inspire woodworkers in USA to make their own Skottbenk based on this old original bench in Amana.

Categories: Hand Tools

On Zest

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 1:08pm


Ellis Miller, a mechanic by profession, began carving as a hobby after making his own set of Monopoly tokens – tea kettle, flat iron, locomotive, hat and shoe. That led to a carved duck, which led to carved birds. Miller consulted John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” as a guide. Washington D.C. June 25, 1937. Photo by: Harris & Ewing. Photo courtesy of: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Harris & Ewing Collection, LC-H22- D-1767 [P&P].

“To lack experience in a handicraft is to lack experience in one of life’s good things. There are so many qualities craftsmanship can bring into the open which otherwise might remain hidden for a lifetime. Unexpected talent, unexpected ingenuity are revealed only when we begin to draw upon them, and, liberated from their dim lurking places within ourselves, they begin to live and grow. It can give heart to a man just to see his work taking shape. Many of us in the modern world have to live within our minds; many others are able to see only one small contribution made by their hands and to have no unique personal responsibility for the finished product. But we all need a unique personal responsibility for the things we do if we are to feel fully satisfied. The claims made upon us by craftsmanship, the opportunity it gives, not only insist that we shall assume this kind of responsibility but help to develop and enlarge it. When we see what we can do, the earth begins to grow solid beneath our feet. The timid ghost that used to hover within us, never quite sure, is put to flight. Something good and creative has come positively into the open, and life is infinitely the richer, our experience infinitely broader and more rewarding because of it.”

— Charles Hayward, The Woodworker magazine, March 1962

Filed under: Honest Labour, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

New Tool from Bridge City Tool Works… It’s a Wild One!

Bridge City Tools - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 12:48pm

Drivel Starved Nation:

Haven’t posted lately, I have buried myself in work… oh how the time flies.

FYI, blogging is not work, it is just a hassle… unless of course I come up with some meaningful drivel to feed the DSN!

Last February I started work on a project that has occupied all my time up until two weeks ago when the prototype parts arrived. This is when I learned that I had a ways to go to prove out this concept so I dropped it temporarily and finished up a tool that I started a year ago and did not finish. I am thrilled with what this tool can do, particularly for those with small shops. I think you will see, at least I hope so, that this device can make your life a whole lot easier when in the shop. Here’s a peek…

UG_L and UG_R.1 700

So, what is it? All of the following;

1) An accurate Try Square (within 0.002″)
2) Marking Gage
3) Depth Gage
4) Height Gage
5) Bevel Square
6) Protractor
7) Centering Rule

The UG-1 Universal Gage features a magnetic base for setting table saw blades, band saw tables and jointer fences a breeze. The notched arm allows you to tilt your drill press table to a drill blank for precise angular hole drilling.

Setting split shaper and router table fences is easy with the depth gage functionality. As is determining hole and mortise depths. You flip the beam to convert to a height gage.

The height gage is perfect for setting router bit and saw blade heights. Those are just a few of the set-up capabilities.

This may be the best layout tool to come out of Bridge City… it provides uncluttered access to a lot of traditional layout tools.

And as you can see in the image, it comes in both a Right and Left hand version. Pick the one that reflects which way your table saw blade tilts as seen from the front of the saw. Better yet, just add them both to your shop!

The height gage features grads in both Imperial and metric units. This is cool for those weening themselves off the archaic imperial measuring system, it gives you a ready reference comparison–before you know it, 6mm is really close to a 1/4″ and 12mm is really close to 1/2″. After a little practice your brain will start thinking in millimeters which is a really efficient unit measurement embraced by almost the entire planet.

And yes, we will have a left and right version available in all metric.

We will open up pre-orders next week.

Next week I will get back to work on my gizmo that has a really big chance of making me the laughing stock of the woodworking community.

I can hardly wait!


The post New Tool from Bridge City Tool Works… It’s a Wild One! appeared first on John's Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Another 16” saw lives

Paul Sellers - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 12:42pm

I once found a mid 19th Century Henry Disston handsaw being sold on eBay and bought it. `it’s a lovely saw and my favourite of all. It’s nott a common item and few will own this one particular type. It’s very lovely. My Disston is possessed and owned by me. It’s actually a small saw …

Read the full post Another 16” saw lives on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

More Meditation Stools

David Barron Furniture - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 10:05am

Andrew sent me these pictures of two nice knock down stools he made. He made them for his daughter who travels a lot, then more for his friends and now sells them on Etsy. If you go on there it's amazing the variety on offer, I didn't realise they were so widely used.

Categories: Hand Tools

Stretchers on Your Workbench are Optional

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 8:59am


The video we’ve recently released, “Roubo Workbench: By Hand & Power Video,” is intended to be a brain dump from me and Will Myers on building slab workbenches. Not only do we show the techniques we’ve developed to make it doable for the home woodworker, we also seek to dispel a lot of the myths and misdirection encountered by the bench builder.

We take the following topics head-on:

  • You can use (very) wet wood for the benchtop.
  • The finish can be simple (or non-existent).
  • The species you use isn’t all that important.
  • Moving big slabs doesn’t require a forklift or Roman garrison.
  • You might not need a tail vise.
  • The lower stretchers are not very important.

This last detail always makes my bench-building students crazy. They go to great lengths to make the mortise-and-tenon joints between the stretchers and legs massive and tight. While I’ll never bad-mouth a good joint, the stretcher joints are not as important as the joints that join the benchtop and the legs.

Early workbenches didn’t use these stretchers (check out the Stent panel for one good example). In fact, I think the biggest job of the lower stretchers is to make it easier to install a shelf below the benchtop for your bench planes and appliances.

As a result, I don’t think the joints for the stretchers have to be massive. To prove the point we used a Domino XL to make one of the stretcher joints on our bench. I probably wouldn’t use a pocket screw or a biscuit for this joint, but loose tenons are an excellent choice, whether you use a router, drill or Domino.

In fact, some Roman boats were built using loose-tenon joinery, and those seemed to do OK.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Crown Moulding with Hand Tools

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 8:56am

I know, I’m getting older and turning into one of those guys who watches the History Channel way too much, but I’ve found that there’s some pretty good woodworking to be learned from history. Crown moulding is one task that many of us grumble about. It is almost impossible to remember which way to place the moulding in the miter saw to achieve the correct angle. We’re hardly thankful that we’re […]

The post Crown Moulding with Hand Tools appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Ugly Need Not Be – How I built a Hewing Stool…Twice

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 8:12am

A year ago I built a glorified stump to hew spoon blanks. I spent weeks thinking about my needs, how to make the work safer and the construction robust. It needed to be high enough to so I wasn’t constantly bent over and stable. Speed of build was also important because it was just a shop appliance. That bench performed perfectly and met all my goals. I have never hated […]

The post Ugly Need Not Be – How I built a Hewing Stool…Twice appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Spoon inspiration, spoon carving resources

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 6:07am

For the past week or more, I have been watching various posts about the goings-on in Edale, Derbyshire – the 6th annual Spoonfest. https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/spoonfest/ I was lucky enough to attend last year, and it was a real highlight being there. Spoonfest, put on by Robin Wood and Barn the Spoon and their cadre of interns, volunteers and friends – is the inspiration and model for Greenwood Fest that I help with at Plymouth CRAFT.

so I’ve been thinking a lot about (& carving some) spoons lately. When I teach classes in it, I like to bring along spoons I’ve collected from friends and other carvers for inspiration. I didn’t get too many this year at Greenwood Fest – couldn’t keep up with the shoppers. But a week or so ago, I was at my desk when the email came in about JoJo Wood’s shop update. I didn’t bother scrolling through all the spoons – they could be sold by the time I did that. I found one I liked & ordered it. Got it! The little dipper carved in the handle…

Here’s JoJo’s –

And one I got this spring from Jögge Sundqvist. 

Students always ask about where do you get this or that tool, and other references, resources etc for spoon carving. I have compiled a list, nowhere near comprehensive – of links and more that I can recommend. There are other sources out there, but I can’t keep up with them. I’ve given up trying. Formerly, I had posts about tool sources that included Country Workshops – Drew Langsner has now retired, and their tool-selling action is mostly going to be taken up through the Maine Coast Craft School…see below.

Videos –

The Spoon, the Bowl & the Knife, Wille Sundqvist film. DVD.


Carving Wooden Spoons with Peter Follansbee, Lie-Nielsen DVD.


Jarrod Dahl, The Art of Spoon Carving, Popular Woodworking DVD


Jögge Sundqvist, Carving Swedish Woodenware, Taunton Press DVD, 1988



Books –

Wille Sundqvist, Swedish Carving Techniques, Taunton Press.


Barn Carder, aka Barn the Spoon, Spon – a Guide to Spoon Carving and the New Wood Culture.


Coming 2017, Jögge Sundqvist, Slojd in Wood – Lost Art Press



Del & Mary Stubbs, knives, etc. http://pinewoodforge.com/

Hans Karlsson & Svante Djarv tools: axes, knives, etc – through Maine Coast Craft School – http://www.mainecoastcraft.com/soon—tool-sales.html

UK seller for HK tools – http://woodsmithexperience.co.uk/shop/category/hans-karlsson-tools/

Same for Svante Djarv – http://woodsmithexperience.co.uk/shop/category/svante-djarv/

Robin Wood’s spoon carving tools – http://wood-tools.co.uk/

Hans Karlsson website – http://www.klensmide.se/

Nic Westermann, blacksmith; knives, hatchets etc.  – http://nicwestermann.co.uk

Jason Lonon -toolmaker http://www.jasonlonon.com/toolmakg.html

Reid Schwartz toolmaker http://www.reidschwartz.net/shop/


Issue 2 release date

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 4:52am

HANDWORK Issue 2 will be available on Saturday August 19th.  There will be over 90 pages of quality reading materials, a little bit of everything and I also added an index page. I’ve been working on it for 18 hrs straight and by God I did it.  I nailed it. I hope you all like it.

I’m off to bed.

Categories: Hand Tools

I’ve Only Got One Word to Say – “Holy Cow!”

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 4:50am

My never-dormant interest in and work on tortoiseshell and ivory recently led me to acquiring and playing with an amazing new imitation ivory.   Brought to us by ivory artist David Warther, whose enterprise  in dealing in certified vintage ivory was shut down by the previous batch of knuckleheads in Mordor-on-the-Potomac (given the revolving door of knuckleheadery in Morder, I have to specify).  Like me David has been exploring alternatives to the use of an amazing natural material with engineered substitutes.  My correspondence with him led me to Resin-Ivory (TM) as a raw material for use in the studio.

The creators of Resin-Ivory have managed to blend the polymer technology of crosslinked polyester with the artistic morphology of striated composites.  Somehow these manufacturers have figured out how to mimic the working properties of the ivory (not perfectly but pretty close) with the grain patterns endemic to ivory, even to the point of inducing very faint  Shreger Lines, those Spirograph-like patterns that are evident on the end grain of true elephant ivory.

I’ve played with the material enough to know it is going to become a staple in my studio (and the prices are crazy modest).  I was very impressed with its properties in cutting and carving, and spent about five minutes doing some checkering.  The only thing I noticed was that occasionally the checkering cutters needed to be cleaned with a stiff brush, a step that is never needed when working genuine ivory.

I think my next big use for this material will be making a new wedge for the infill smoother I rescued earlier.  Stay tuned.

Woodturning Patterns by David Heim – 360w360 E.244

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 4:20am
Woodturning Patterns by David Heim – 360w360 E.244

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, we talk with David Heim about his new book Woodturning Patterns (Spring House Press). David wrote and illustrated his book – illustrations are 3-D drawings from SketchUp, a program in which David excels. In the book, David has gathered together more than 80 drawings that are full size renditions, except for a handful that are half scale. Patterns found in Woodturning Patterns include kitchenware, play things, knobs and finials, items for shop and garden tools, lamps and candlesticks and bowls, vases and platters.

Continue reading Woodturning Patterns by David Heim – 360w360 E.244 at 360 WoodWorking.

I hear you singing through the wire.

Giant Cypress - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 3:18am

I hear you singing through the wire.

I wish it were yesterday.......

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 08/10/2017 - 1:24am
Yesterday was a two post day for me. It was the first two blog post this year and the first one I did since the early part of last year. I had kind of settled down and decided that I wouldn't do multiple posts in one day anymore. Yesterday was a gotcha directed at me. I was on my coffee break and I decided to proof read the "....like it was yesterday......" post. Had my usual brain fart with that and hit the publish button instead of the save button. That post was meant to be published on Thursday. Since it was already out there I finished proofing it and left it.

Wednesday night after work I would be dropping my wife's car off at the shop for her RI car inspection. So I knew I would be getting little if any shop time. I had started writing that blog post on Tuesday and I had planned to publish it on Thursday. Didn't happen sports fans. I smacked the ball off the wall but got called out at second base.

I have a bit of a streak going with blog posting and I didn't what to break it with something caused by a stupid mistake. Heart attacks and hospitalizations would be a good excuse for breaking the chain but hitting the wrong radio button isn't.

I won 3 out of 4
I lost out on a reprint of a Stanley catalog from the late 1800's but I got these 3.  I see catalogs fairly often on Josh's site so I will have to be patient and one will show up again. I just have to remember the ones I do have and don't buy another duplicate.

3 astragals
I am done buying astragal planes. This haul is a 1/4", 3/8", and 5/8".  With these three the herd is complete. I bought these all from Jim Bode and all are stamped with the size on the heel. The 1/4" one is marked with just an upside down 2.

1/4 to 7/8 by 8ths (right most 6)
I haven't seen any 16th sizes for sale nor I have seen any in my catalogs. Two of the astragals I got today are american made and one is english. I'll road test them later as I have way too many other things on my plate now.

I was able to squeeze in some woodworking
I thought my wife wanted to go to the shop right after I got home but she was agreeable to even going after dinner. I had ample time to saw, chop, and fit the back. I've got everything lined up the way it will go together. I leave it this way and mark one end with it's side. Repeat for the other end.  Doing it this way and seeing it on the bench helps me keeps everything straight and on track.

fit off the saw
the other side
It fits but not well on this side. The pins needed to be trimmed a wee bit. I left the top running wild and I'll saw that off before I glue the drawer up. I'll do the final trim and fit once the drawer has set up and it is time to fit it in the opening.

After we dropped the car off we decided to go out to eat. I was able to get fish 'n chips (on a wednesday) and I was disappointed in it. The fish portions are getting smaller and smaller it seems the taste is not what I remember it too (didn't taste like cod or haddock). Makes me think whether or not my grandson will ever know what fish 'n chips tastes like.

After dinner was done and we were home, I went back to the shop and trimmed the pins on this side. The tails and pins came together gap free. Tomorrow I'll glue it up and work on the drawer slips.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What US State's official flower isn't a flower?
answer - Maine, whose official state flower is the pine cone (pine cones aren't flowers)

It All Started with Replacing the Arbor Bearings in my Table Saw

Brese Plane - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 3:40pm
I have a few furniture projects coming up and I've known for a while now that the arbor bearings in my table saw needed replacing. If you've never assumed this task it's a fairly involved process that typically requires removing the weighty cast iron top. The actual job of replacing the bearings is not difficult as long as you know to use physics to your advantage. When you cool things they shrink and when you heat things they expand. I put the arbor in the freezer and when I was ready to put on the new bearings I heated them just a bit. Presto! They slide right on.

This is where things went wrong. As you know table saw dust collection is typically inadequate at best and while the top was off my saw I deemed this to be the time to design an improvement. 4 versions of a blade shroud later my saw dust collection is greatly improved. I'm into this project for way more days than I ever imagined and this spawned an entire re-arrangement of my shop. It was one of those, "while I'm at it I may as well", kind of thing.

The table saw has been moved forward and to the right approximately 2 feet. Doesn't sound like much of a task until you consider that the dust collection drop and the electrical feed also required moving. You can see evidence of the prior location in the picture below.

While the shop was in a total state of disarray I decided that now would also be the time to move my Powermatic 90 lathe to the other end of the shop. It's on a mobile base so easy right? Nope. This required me taking out the leg of my dust collection that went to the lathe, cap it off and then extend the main trunk of the system to the front end of the shop where the lathe now resides. Next I found myself crawling under my shop in order to pull a 220 volt circuit to the new lathe location while my wife was feeding the wire from inside the shop. Yes she is an extraordinary woman.

The lathe move was to facilitate moving my disc sander and oscillating spindle sander off a rolling tool chest into a fixed location on the back wall where the lathe used to reside. This required building cantilever brackets that attached to the back wall giving these tools a permanent home. I so hated having to roll that tool chest out every time I needed to use one of those tools. No more. Fortunately no electrical work was required for these machines. This sets me up to complete the finish work needed on the back wall of the shop. Trim and paint. You can see where the gray floor paint stops in the photo below. I'll be glad when the floor is all one color.

Last but not least Julie emptied out the cupboards of my Shaker workbench so we could change it's location. Even with the cupboard empty it was still quite heavy. That's part of why it's such a good workbench. We rocked it so that we could slide cardboard skids underneath. All this to move it approximately 2 feet.

Of course now the main room of the shop had the look of, "was anyone hurt when the bomb went off?"

It was time for a major aftermath clean up.

This was the final part of the re-arrangement and it all started with changing arbor bearings.

Just so you know, you can follow Brese Plane on Instagram. I'm enjoying the Instragram account. It allows me to post things going on in the shop in closer to real time and it's less involved than writing a blog post which can be hard to find the time to do.


“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
-Mark Twain
Categories: Hand Tools

A little bit jumpy.

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 1:00pm

Before I get into the topic of this post, I would like to preface it by saying that I have been working with and around machinery for most of my adult life. That list includes construction equipment, printing presses, pipe benders, wire pulling machines, fork lifts and earth movers. Of course this list also includes power tools for woodworking. All of the equipment I listed could and can seriously injure or even kill.

Lately, while woodworking, I have been exclusively using hand tools. This has not been a philosophical decision. The projects I have been working on are generally small, and because my daughter has been with me ( I will not use a power tool with her in the vicinity), and because I could just as easily crosscut a few boards by hand, I have been avoiding the table saw. But over the past weekend I broke out the table saw for the first time in quite a while, and truth be told it may be a long while before I break it out again.

Last year my father-in-law brought me some hickory and ash logs from his property in upstate Pennsylvania, so I split them into smaller pieces and set them aside to dry. When inspecting them on Saturday I deemed them dry enough to use, so I decided to further prep the wood (namely the hickory) into smaller billets to be used as handle stock for some antique farm and logging tools that I have been attempting to restore. This prep work consisted of a lot of sawing and hatchet work, and I don’t recommend it if you are working under any kind of time frame because it is a long and arduous process despite what anybody will tell you. Regardless. I ended up with four “sticks” roughly 2 ½ feet long and 2 or so inches square. I planed them down mainly to get a flat reference face (this wood will be shaped into contoured handles, so there is no need to start off with a perfectly square board), and rather than spending another hour rip sawing and cross cutting, I decided to use the table saw to get all of the wood to uniform size. That is when things got weird.

The first thing I wanted to do was cross cut the boards to uniform width. I have an Osborne EB-3 miter gauge, which I feel is a top of the line product, and it has never given me any real trouble. It is accurate, and safe, and I feel comfortable using it. The blade on the saw is new and sharp. So I set the blade height, and decided on an off-cut of around 2 inches just to be sure to remove any funky end wood. So I began a process I have completed thousands of times…My first off cut shot across my garage like a rifle shot. I turned off the saw, checked the blade height-which was right where it is supposed to be-and got back to work. The second off cut, which was the other side of the same board, did not shoot across the garage again, but it wanted to. Instead, it seemed to “tug” the board into the blade slightly, and I believe the only thing that kept the board from being pulled laterally any further was the fact that my miter gauge is lined with 60 grit sand paper just for the purpose of keeping the wood from shifting. At this point, I unplug the saw and check the blade-it is tight and sharp; I check the miter gauge and it is 90 degrees to the blade (not that it should have mattered in the least but I checked anyway) I even checked the voltage at the receptacle that the saw is plugged into-121 volts. So I chalked up the missile launches to the dense hickory board and began again.
The next 3 boards yielded generally the same results: flying wood, pulling boards, and overall chaos. After the boards were sawn to length I was planning on ripping them to width as well, but by then I was becoming worried. I have always had a very healthy respect for all machinery and I am always very cautious when using it, because I’ve witnessed several gory incidents as well as surviving a few near-misses myself. But this was the first time that I can ever recall being afraid to use a table saw.

At this point I decided on some more detective work. I went back to the blade, which is a brand new 40t combination blade, a Diablo from the Depot. While I don’t consider the Diablo blades anything special, I have used them in the past many times without incident. Nevertheless I doublechecked it, and found no wobble, the teeth were nice and sharp, and as I said before, the height was set where I always set it, with the gullets approximately 1/8 of an inch above the cut. Hickory is a hard wood, very hard, so I decided to cross cut a piece of scrap pine to see the results, and while it did not shoot across the room or bog, something definitely did not feel quite right. So I re-checked the Hickory; there were no wild grain patterns or large checks, and while the boards likely have more moisture content than a kiln dried board you may find in a lumber yard or home center, they were definitely not openly wet or even damp.

However, one area of concern did crop up, and that was the throat plate on my table saw. The plate is wider than it should be, and perhaps an offcut just a few inches long will dip, even slightly, due to lack of support, causing it to touch the revolving blade, possibly shooting it back? I have always wanted to make or purchase a zero clearance throat plate, but because I use the table saw so little I haven’t considered it much lately. So to test this theory out I cross cut a scrap board so that much of the off-cut would be supported by the table and the results were improved, though I still seemed to feel a slight tug that I had honestly never noticed before until that day.

Here’s the thing, not too long ago I came to the conclusion that I am probably going to sell my table saw. I don’t use it much, but more importantly it takes up a lot of space. At the same time a table saw can be a useful tool to have around. I know that I can work without it, but I also know that there are times it will be greatly missed, in particular on those days when I need to cut a few dozen dados. I’m not sold on the notion of “all handwork, all the time.” Once again, I have nothing against it, I just don’t have the free time for it; I woodwork for fun, not as a crusade. Yet, I haven’t really used the table saw in earnest this entire year, and we are heading into September. Either way, for the first time in my life I did not feel comfortable using a familiar tool. It’s worth the $25 investment to add a zero-clearance throat plate, but that may not be the issue, and that issue may be a problem with the saw that I cannot necessarily identify without a true expert checking it out for me.

If I add a new throat plate and I still don’t notice a difference I can only see two options: sell the saw and put the money toward a band-saw, or sell the saw and put the money towards a Sawstop Saw. For the record, this is not a commercial for Sawstop. I’ve used a Sawstop saw a handful of times and I think highly of them. I don’t know if they do any more to stop kickback on crosscuts than any other saw will, but I do know that if that kick back causes my hand to slip, or jerk, or what have you, and my hand happens to touch the blade in doing so, I have a far better chance of not sustaining a serious injury. Yet, even if I sell my saw and get top dollar for it, the money raised would still be less than half of what I need. I can get a nice bandsaw for half the cost of a Sawstop, and bandsaws, in my opinion, are a far safer option, perhaps the safest option of all when it comes to sawing wood with a motor.

When it comes down to it, I’m not a kid anymore, and I’m not a professional woodworker. Maybe my months long lay-off from the table saw has me somewhat gun shy. Maybe my reflexes aren’t what they used to be, and I have definitely had some issues with my hands and fingers, so maybe that is the problem. Whatever the case may be, I was honestly rattled this past weekend, and that is no way to woodwork, and until I figure it out, the power switch to that table saw is remaining in the “off” position.

Categories: General Woodworking


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