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Urban Forestry & a Rash of Alarming Stumps

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 6:42am
urban forestry

Recently in my neighborhood, there has been an alarming outbreak of stumps. The City of Cincinnati has been removing trees that are encroaching on and breaking up the sidewalks, in anticipation of the replacement and repair of said walkways – a cost that is the responsibility of homeowners…which has caused some anger. I understand why we need passable walkways (I also understand the disgruntlement at having to pay for them, particularly with […]

The post Urban Forestry & a Rash of Alarming Stumps appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Larry Williams – The Perfect Plane by Nathan Willis

Journeyman's Journal - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 4:58am

This is a nice inspirational video on Larry Williams and his business partner Don.  It’s interesting though to see some machinery  used in the production of these fantastic planes.  I’ve always found it odd that machinery is used to produce hand tools to promote handwork.  No ear protection, no dust, its quiet and efficient but when it comes to manufacturing them, it’s not cost effective and inefficient to do so by hand.  Kind of hypocritical don’t you think, it’s like selling tools vs selling furniture, you can sell tools all day everyday but you can’t sell the stuff you can build with them.  

Larry mentioned that moulding planes are sophisticated tools and I agree with him, they are as much needed in ones tool kit today as they were back in the day.  I know modern day furniture has very little mouldings implemented in their designs, but fashion comes and goes it’s more a cycle or like the hour hand, its start at 12 and completes its revolution ending at 12.  Nothing knew is ever thrown at us, nothing knew in terms of design is every invented, fashion comes and goes like the tide, if you don’t believe me look carefully and you will see bits and pieces of things taken from the past going back as far as 2000years and I’m not only referring to furniture.

In this modern age most people don’t like brown furniture but do like the carvings and mouldings and the initial design of some antique furniture.  So why have it brown?  I’ve seen a beautiful highboy in FWW made entirely from Tiger Maple.  It’s the same style of furniture but it isn’t  brown, the creator thought out of the box.  So you don’t need to stick to any period correctness colour just to go with your own creativity.

Referring back to my own build I’m finding it frustrating to shape the irons to make a perfect replica of the sole’s profile.  Unfortunately I had to resort to using a dremel to help with the grinding.  If I had an assortment of files I believe I could do a much better job quickly and more efficiently.  The two quality files I have are Bahco files and are the best files I have ever worked with.  Sometimes I feel like buying a whole bunch of them in fear that they will drop their standard of work and produce crap like Nicholson does today.    I wonder though how the select modern day toolmakers shape theeir soles and irons?  I look at James Celeb’s profiles and they’re perfect, I looked at Matt Bickford’s and Larry Williams and HNT as well and all the irons perfectly match the sole.  So perfect that it’s impossible to think that they did this by hand and I don’t think that they did.

When I examine Ron Herman’s profiles through his videos there are slight variations because he grinds them by hand and some of my own antique planes again you see those slight variations as well.  I could be wrong as I’ve never held any of those above mentioned toolmakers planes in my hands before to study them up close, but it just looks too machined perfect to be done by hand.  So I wonder what is it that they they use to get it so darn perfect.

I believe that I will get it perfect by hand, I know me and I know how much of a nit picker I am so it’s only a matter of time before I get to that aha point.  It’s easy to say I don’t know, it can’t be done and to resort to some machine to do it for you.  For me that’s not being a craftsman, a craftsman relies on his own skill sets or develops them and not rely on some machine to do it for him.  For me it’s always been about skill development and freedom from the dependence on machinery.

Categories: Hand Tools

Be Seated: The Benchcrafted Swing-away Seat

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 4:33am

Sitting at your workbench does not make you lazy. Many times it makes you smart. Chopping out the waste between dovetails requires endurance and patience – especially when building a large piece of casework with drawers. If you sit while chopping, you conserve energy and your eyes are closer to your chisel, improving accuracy. The same goes for mortising where exactitude is important. During the last few weeks I’ve been […]

The post Be Seated: The Benchcrafted Swing-away Seat appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

crappy sunday.......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 06/19/2017 - 12:33am
Today was a blah day squared or maybe cubed. I had got up early with the intention of going to work to do a couple of hours of OT. That never happened due to me rolling over and falling back to sleep twice. By the time I did finally get up the urge to do OT had passed and I was contemplating rolling over again for a third time.  But I was a good boy this time and got up because I had a blog to proof and post.

The weather matched the start of my day. It was overcast and humid. Not rip your face off humid but if the temp had gone up any higher it would have been close to that. Around noonish a thunderstorm rolled through and the rain came down worse than a cow letting loose on a flat rock. And the humidity went up a few notches but stayed shy of the rip your face off threshold. The rain stopped and the sun came out.

When I finally did get down to the shop I didn't get a lot done. I looked at the workbench which had the bookcase and two shelves on and said I can't work there. I didn't feel like moving those 3 things to a new home right then so I went back upstairs.

What I did get done today was the tool list for Myles kit. I used Paul Sellers essential tool list as a guide and pretty much stuck with his recommendations. I added a #5 1/4 jack plane and a couple of smoothers. He is getting a #3 and a #4 and I think he will probably end with the #2 I'm doing now. I was surprised by how many tools I already have for his kit. As for the toolbox or toolchest, I'm leaning in the direction of the CS dutch toolchest. It would be large enough to keep all of his tools in it. And I can stow it in boneyard till he his old enough for to use it.

3 coats of paint
The shelves are going to take at least two more coats. I'll do two on the top but the bottoms are only getting one. They aren't as clammy feeling today and I will try to get at least one coat on today in spite of the humidity.

 lightly dragged the scraper over the shelves
The scraper does a very job of removing all dust nibs and leveling it out at the same time.

sanding block batted second
This wasn't leveling out the slight ridges left by the paint brush. The scraper out performed the sanding block there. The sander block did a good job of smoothing the shelf after the scraper.

no more paint ridges

older primer
I am using this primer because it says on the can 'any angle spray'. I'll be using a lot of angles to spray the frog and the yoke. The primer I used on the plane body you have to keep the can vertical and spray horizontally. I don't know how old this is but I did shake the crap out of it for a long time.

two quick spray jobs
I took the wire off of a fried rice container to hold the yoke while I painted it. I taped off the frog face, the stud for the adjuster knob, and the lateral adjust lever. I did not tape off the area on the back where the frog contacts the plane body frog seat. I'll scrape that clean once I'm done painting.

primer coat on the frog
right above the clock
Having the ability to spray at different angles payed off doing the yoke.

for keeping the bookcase off the deck
I didn't get the interior of the bookcase done. It needs to be scraped and sanded first. Then I have to run a drill in all the holes to clean out the paint drips that got in them. I bought the water based poly today so it's ready to go. I'm telling myself that I am waiting for the shelves to be done so I can do everything at once.

I painted the shelves in two steps today. I did the back and 6 hours later I did the front. I took my time and tried my hardest to get it done with no brush marks along with good coverage. It looked good when I was done but I'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what the coverage looks like.

got one
Nancy Hiller wrote 3 books and I ordered 2 of them from Amazon (I already read her latest). Both of them are coming Amazon Prime and one got here today and another one is expected tomorrow. I also bought a book of essays she wrote and I have no idea what is waiting for me there. I'm not sure if the essays count as a book or as a collection; got it anyways.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is a octahedron?
answer - two pyramids attached together at their bases (technical definition: a polyhedron with eight faces, twelve edges, and six vertices)

The Furniture of The White House

MVFlaim Furnituremaker - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 7:27pm

Last week my wife and I decided to take a trip out to Washington DC. She had never been there and I went there on a summer trip when I was in the seventh grade. She booked tickets to go to the White House by contacting our local congressman, Steve Chabot, several weeks in advance.

We arrived at the White House at  7:15 am and stood on the outside by a fence before our tour began at 7:30. The guards made us walk into a fenced corral only to make us leave ten minutes later. None of us knew what was going on until we saw the Secret Service walk down that corral with bomb sniffing dogs after we left. Once we passed that part of security, we had to go though three more security check points before we were ever allowed inside.

The first piece of furniture I saw was a china cabinet with a bunch of presidential plates inside. I whipped out my phone and took as many pictures of the furniture as I could. A lot of the rooms were roped off so I couldn’t get too many close up details of most of the furniture.


Here is the detail of the cabinet’s molding.


Here’s a shot of the hand cut dovetails on the drawer. What’s going on with that bottom dovetail? It looks like I cut that one.


Detail of the finial.


More details of the cabinet.


Nice round table with a piece of glass to protect the top.


Mahogany deck and chair inside one of the rooms.


A nice hall clock stood on top of a small set of stairs.


A closer look at the clocks face.


A nice drop leaf table with a piece of glass fitting over only one side of the drop leaf.


A mahogany chair sitting in the room with a closeup of the chair’s detail.



Another table with a piece of fitted glass to protect the top.


Inside the Red Room with a couple of chairs and what looks like a round game table which I doubt was unless you were playing Q-Bert.


This secretary desk was my favorite. This stood on the back-end of the Red Room.




A long dining table where President Trump holds dinners with guests. He was planning on having his birthday dinner here later that night.


Another side table outside the dining room. Notice the plastic on the bottom to protect the table’s claw feet from visitors.


Even the doors are made incredibly well with a beaded detail down the edge.



After we left the White House, the Secret Service rushed us across the street as they didn’t want anyone lallygagging around in the front. After our tour, we walked down the street to a Starbucks to get some coffee where we found out that while we were inside the White House, it was the same time that some goofball loser shot the Congressman in Alexandria, VA which was one of the reasons for the heightened security.


Arms dealers

Mulesaw - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 4:43pm
I continue my description of the moral decay of Denmark with a mixture of child labour and arms dealing.

The local shop in the village once a year hosts a market day where there is a social gathering with coffee and socializing with the other residents of the area.
The important thing for our children though is the market part, which allows you to have a booth at the parking lot and try to sell stuff. This year Gustav didn't feel like participating, he is a teenager now, and won't risk compromising being cool by being seen selling odd stuff in a parking lot (at least that is what I believe is the reason)
Asger likes the idea of selling something that he has made himself, and we have earlier sold stuff like apple crates, a home made soap and old no longer used toys.
This year I returned home from the ship some 2 weeks prior to the arrangement, and Asger wanted us to think of something new to sell this year. He takes pride in that we never sell the same products two years in a row.
I quickly had to think of something that would look the part and not be too overly difficult to build, I would of course help, but I wanted parts of the project to be such that the kids could do it themselves, in order for them to feel more of an ownership of the project.

This year we decided on making a small production of wooden toy guns.
I sawed out the stock on the band saw, and after some initial sanding and planing, I used a router to round over all the edges.
Asger sanded the stocks and then we helped each other applying some walnut stain.

We decided to make a few different models of guns, but all using more or less the same stock:
3 shotguns O/U
3 shotguns S/S
2 small carabines (stock shortened by approx 5" for very small kids)
14 sub machine guns inspired by a Thompson.

I made the barrels ready by gluing up those for the shotguns and flattening those for the sub machine guns and the carabines.
Asger drilled holes in all the barrels for mounting and the he painted them all.

I made some magazines for the "Thompsons" and Asger tried to use the router mounted in a router table to round them over on the edges before he sanded and painted them.

The triggers are a screw that has had the end cut off and filed round, and the trigger guards were made out of some zinc plate that I bent into shape.
Finally the barrels were mounted and the guns were ready to be sold.
Asgers friend Andreas helped in selling the guns.

Andreas (left) Asger (right).

The sales table is a small Sjöberg workbench.

Me taking a small break and enjoying a cold beer.

Andreas contemplating about why sales are so low.

The shopping cart of Bonnie and Clyde.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Tree That Sparked an Industry and a Riot

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 2:13pm

The mighty Eastern White Pine.

Notable high timber trees

In May of 1605 explorer Captain George Waymouth and his crew arrived off the coast of the “Northern part of Virginia” as that part of the New World was called. They were on a small island off the coast of what is now known as Maine and near the mouth of the Tanahock River, later to be known as the St. George’s River.

A copy of a copy of the 1610 Simancas (Spain) archive map. Waymouth’s explorations are in the area outlined by the blue box. From the Maine Historical Society.

Captain Waymouth took soundings and other measurements during the exploration but no maps survive. We do have the account of James Rosier, a gentleman employed on the voyage who wrote “The True Relation of the Most prosperous voyage made this present yeere 1605 by Captain George Waymouth in the Discovery of the land of Virginia” (that’s the shortened title). He provides a description of the fruits and trees found in mid-May while still on the island:

After constructing smaller boats for navigation in shallower waters they started to make excursions to other islands and into the river. They were astounded by the freshness of the water, the abundant catches of fish and the many deep coves along the river. In mid-June Rosier wrote:

The “notable high timber trees, mast for ships of 400 tun” were the Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus. Captain Waymouth was not on a pleasure cruise. He and and his crew were on a voyage to find and report on resources and within several decades the business of mast-making would become the first major industry of New England.

By the 17th-century Britain had exhausted the supply of timber need to make single-stick masts for the ships of the Royal Navy. Britain was in fierce and expensive competition for Baltic fir with Spain, France and Holland, a new and cheaper source for mast timber was desperately neeeded.  Pinus strobus was the answer and became known as the “mast pine.”

The Eastern White Pine is known as one of the tallest trees in the Eastern part of the United States. It is easy to work and lighter than other woods. Besides masts the wood could be used for other shipbuilding components, pitch and tar were used for seaming and resin and turpentine were used to make paint and varnish. For future colonists Eastern White Pine would be used to build homes, wagons, barns, furniture and so on.

First Person Observations

Samuel Sewall was a judge in Boston. He is best known in United Staes history as one of the judges in the Salem Witch Trials (he later apologized). He was also a businessman and he kept a diary of his daily actions and the events he witnessed or had reported to him. It is almost overwhelming to read the number of injuries that befall his friends and neighbors and the incredible number of deaths that seem to occur each week. But thanks to his dedication in keeping a record we get a few details about the timber trade and the progression of the mast industry some 80 years after Waymouth’s voyage.

From Thursday, September 1, 1687: “This day we receive a Sloop Load of Boards from the Salmon-falls Saw-mill and the same day, I think by the same Boat, I receive a Copy of a Writ of Ejection which Mr. Mason has cause’d to be serv’d on John Broughton respecting said Mill.”

Sewall was an investor in a sawmill and the writ he mentions may have  involved a mill in which he had an interest. He takes a trip to resolve the issue but the court involved cannot meet and the case is deferred until the following March. His trip continues and we get a glimpse of the mast industry from his entrry of September 14:

“See the Mill, get a Cut, visit Mrs. Rainer and her Daughter Broughton. Breakfast there. Ride into Swamp to see a Mast drawn of about 26 inches of 28 [diameter]; about two and thirty yoke of oxen before, and about four yoke by the side of the Mast, between the fore and hinder wheels. ‘Twas a very notable sight. Rode then to York…”

18th-century example of how a large beam was transported. Moving a mast would have required many more teams of oxen.

The following spring Sewall again traveled to resolve the business with the Writ at the Mill but the case was dropped due to the death of one of the parties. He continues his trip and notes on March 9, 1688: “Goe to the Great Iland [Island], saw the Mast-Ship sail.”

Although Sewall lived in Boston his many travels took him to other parts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The sawmill in which he invested, the swamp where he observed a mast being pulled and the sailing of the mast ship were along the Piscataqua River in what is now New Hampshire and Maine.

Map of the Pascataway River, ca. 1665-1670. Red arrows mark Quamphegan Falls (site of a sawmill) and Great Island. Portsmouth is not marked but is located at the mouth of the river. Today New Hampshire lies on the left bank of the river, Maine is on the right bank. From the Maine State Library.

Sewall’s sawmill may have been at Quamphegan Falls or further up the river at Salmon Falls. Both falls were an important part of the timber business in this part of the colony. Masts taken from the forests were moved down to Portsmouth at the mouth of the river, further processed and then loaded onto mast-ships for transport to shipyards in England and to other parts of the colonies.

A squared mast tree could easily be 100-120 feet long requiring mast-ships to have exta-long decking. One of these ships could transport 50 masts and the sight of a mast-ship embarking would certainly be a sight to note in one’s diary. Through Sewall’s diary we learn the mast-making industry, as well as other timber businesses, were well-established. Mast pines were felled, processed and transported to the coast for further transport to shipyards. Sawmills were operating and lumber supplies were moved over waterways.

Colony Growth and Crown Control

The Massachusetts Bay Colony was chartered in 1628. After political ups-and-downs between the colony and England, and within England itself, charters were revoked, rewritten in harsher terms and finally in 1691 a new charter was issued by William and Mary for the Province of Massachusetts Bay.

With the influx of immigrants to the new colony the domestic demand for wood grew and came into conflict with the Crown’s need for shipbuilding material. The very last section of the 1691 charter was very specific on the consequences of interfering with the Crown’s supply of mast pines:

“And lastly for the better providing and furnishing of Masts for Our Royall Navy Wee doe hereby reserve to Us Our Heires and Successors all Trees of the Diameter of Twenty Four Inches and upwards of Twelve Inches from the ground growing upon any soyle or Tract of Land within Our said Province or Territory not heretofore granted to any private persons And Wee doe restrains and forbid all persons whatsoever from felling cutting or destroying any such Trees without the Royall Lycence of Us Our Heires and Successors first had and obteyned upon penalty of Forfeiting One Hundred Poinds sterling unto Ous Our Heires and Successors for every such Tree soe felled cut or destroyed without such Lycence had and obteyned in that behalfe any thing in.”

This last section of the charter was known as the Mast Preservation Clause. Surveyors of Pines and Timber were tasked with finding and marking all suitable trees “within ten miles of any navigable waterway.” Trees were marked with three hatchet marks that formed the “King’s Broad Arrow.” Woe to any colonist found with a marked tree, or a tree that was unmarked but met the size requirements for a mast. The Mast Clause, as with most regulations limiting a vital supply, caused divisions among the colonists. Some were very much in support of supplying the Royal Navy with precious timber, others were more concerned with how they were able to sustain livelihoods with the Crown claiming the best and the most.

A New Century and Expotential Growth

Boston Mill Pond and Shipyards, 1743. Boston Public Library.

In the map above you can see that Boston bristled with shipyards. To power the sawmills and other mills in the area a damn was built to create the Mill Pond and use tidal power. As the tide went out it turned the water wheels that powered the mills. The goods made in the mills and shipyards were traded with England, other European countries and with other colonies. Moving commodities and passengers by water, both sea and rivers, was faster and more efficient than by overland route. Smaller ships made in the colonies were made for this purpose. The many shipyards also did repairs for larger ships damaged by weather or warfare. Samuel Sewall’s diary mentions several instances where a ship had lost its mast and arrived for repairs.

Using Boston as an example of the growth of the New England colony we see in 1650 the population of Boston was 2,000 and by 1742 it was 16,382.  New arrivals to the colony swelled city settlements and there was also a push into more remote and rural areas. Increased populations and increased trade put more pressure on natural resources. With the crown snapping up the best of timber there was more pushback from the colonists. Poaching timber that met the measurements in the Mast Clause was a cat-and-mouse game between individual citizens, sawmill operators and the Royal Surveyors.

In New Hampshire we can get an idea of how a Mast Clause constrained the livlihood of the colonists. But first, a note about a series of taxes that created revenue for the Crown and protected the trade of goods made in England. In 1733 there was the Molasses Act, in 1764 the Sugar Act and in 1765 the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act was particularly inflammatory as it required a tax on printed material that had to be on paper made in England – everything from legal documents to newspapers to playing cards. Not only was this a wooden age, it was a gambling age and a tax affecting playing cards was a low blow.

Prior to 1766 the governor of New Hampshire did not strictly enforce the Mast Clause, especially in the western portion of the colony. In 1764 the charter for incorporating Weare (by today’s roadways about 70 miles from Portsmouth) included the usual clause for reserving all white pines fit for use by the Royal Navy. New towns like Weare didn’t pay much attention to the clause and enforcement was lax. In 1766 John Wentorth became governor and he began to rigorously enforce the Mast Clause and thereby greatly increase revenue.

By this time the law had become an onerous weight on the newer towns and settlers. Prior to cutting any timber for a home or clearing any land a surveyor had to be summoned to assess and mark any pine trees suitable for the Crown’s use. A royal license also had to be paid to cut any other trees. If a settler did not follow this law he was subject to inspection and arrest for any white pine that might be found in his cabin walls. The law was unpopular from farmer to sawmill operator to minister, as none could escape paying for the use of their own trees and only after the Crown had marked and would take what was best.

Ebenezer Mudgett Has Had Enough

Royal Surveyors used the tactic of inspecting sawmills to find white pine logs of mast size, put the Kings Broad Arrow Mark on the logs and then fine the mill operator. In the winter of 1771-1772 they visted sawmills in the Piscataquog Valley and found six mills with white pine logs 15-36 inches in diameter. The owners were ordered to appear in court and pay fines. Some mill owners paid their fines but the owners from Weare did not.

Ebenezer Mudgett was the leader of the Weare group. He agreed to finally meet the sheriff and face his arrest but the night before he and others got together to plan their response.

From the archives of the Portsmouth Athenaeum.

This event became known as the Pine Tree Riot. Yes, New Hampshire had a riot. Several accounts say the rioters used pine tree switches to assault the sheriff and the number of strikes equaled the number of logs that were confiscated. Some historians think the disguises used by the Weare rioters gave the Boston Tea Party members the idea to use disguises when they held their protest the next year.

Within a few years of the Pine Tree Riot the former colonists had a country of their own and could now command payment from England or any other country for their mast trees. Business would be brisk for many years as we launched our own Navy, more parts of the world were explored and trade routes expanded and Napoleon began his campaigns.

The cone of the Eastern White Pine.

There are still some old growth stands of the Eastern White Pine in protected forests and parks from Canada to North Carolina and in the Upper Midwest. Go find one and give it a few pats.

For the denizens of New Hampshire and Maine who probably know all about the mast pine and the riot I have one more map for you. It is from 1774 and shows about the same area around the Piscataqua River as the 1665-1670 map above.

Portion of 1774 map showing the most populated areas of New England. Boston Public Library.

Suzanne Ellison

Filed under: Historical Images
Categories: Hand Tools

Father’s Day

Paul Sellers - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 7:15am

In my youth and from my background, Father’s day was never featured and really, I don’t remember any hint of it in the culture of my time. Perhaps that was a northern thing, perhaps the great divide between the haves and the have nots, the North and the South, the then Working classes and the …

Read the full post Father’s Day on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

slow lane saturday.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 4:02am
My wife took Amanda and Myles to New York to see her parents. She sent me a picture of Amanda and Myles with her grandparents but something was missing. My wife who is the budding genealogist wasn't in the picture. Her chance to have a pic of four generations for Myles to look at 20 years from now is gone. She is coming home tomorrow so I'll have to wait and see if her sister snapped the 4 four generations pic.

I moved way over to the slow lane on the right today. I had big plans for finishing the bookcase by sunday but that won't be happening. I did some OT and when I came home I vegged out looking at old tool catalogs. I didn't go to the shop until after 1000. And when I got there I moved over into the slow lane there too.

got it tighter
I fussed some more with this and got it tighter than what the pic shows. If I push the  right piece into the left one, the miter is almost seamless. I would accept that for a this being left natural. The hard part with this so far has been getting the toe of the miter on both pieces. The quirk is in the way and I had to guess at where it was.

clamping helper
I did a little searching on the miter template for how to use it and came up dry. Found lots of pictures on it but none on how to clamp it in a vise. Every situation I saw of it's use was with one hand on the template and the other working the chisel. I came up with this to clamp the jig in the vise with the stock and have two hands free to trim the miter. Step one was sawing a 45° on both ends.

much better on square
This one is pretty good and the other was a couple frog hairs off. This was something I thought I was pretty good at and I took it for granted I was sawing square but wasn't. I am going back to marking a vertical square line to guide me like I did on these two saw cuts.

smoothed up the 45's

it's a filler
The filler is about 1/16" wider than the bottom ledge it is sitting on. And it is just shy of being flush with the ends. The jig has the registration faces for trimming and the filler is for clamping, not a bed for the chisel.

2 shallow rabbets needed
I don't need or want the filler moving as I clamp this in the vise. I made two shallow rabbets to lock this in place.

This is working better than I hoped for. It is rock steady here even with me moving it around in circles. It did fall out when I tilted it but not when I moved it forward and backwards.

it works
Now I just have to make sure that I keep the two of there together.

solid bearing
This provides equal bearing on both of the 45° legs. The vise won't be able to apply unequal pressure on one leg over the other. That could distort the template and make it toast.

plane body is done
I'm happy with the look of this. I don't think that it is too shiny which I thought it might be.

scraped the frog seat
I used the same chisel to scrape the frog seat clean of paint again. I also used the chisel on the top of the sides where I got some paint.

the frog and the yoke are next
The humidity was supposed to ratchet up quite a few notches today so I'm holding off on painting these two. As I'm writing this I am thinking that I should have at least cleaned them and put the primer coat on.

so I can spray the primer on all over
I'll swap out this brass rod with a piece of #14 bare wire. I have a few them in my electrical goodie bag that I keep to use as grounding pig tails.

sawing the shelves to width
The paint on the shelves is dry but they feel clammy if that makes any sense. They wouldn't slide easily, if at all, on the tablesaw. It wouldn't be safe if it jammed and turned into the blade and it kicked back. The two strips will act as sled and let push the shelves past the saw blade.

lost both of them
I thought the front would have still lined up but it didn't happen sports fans. I will have to fill all eight of them in and chop new ones.

the old hole filler
This is plywood and filling in the holes and making new ones fairly close to the repairs doesn't sound good. Instead of filling in two small holes I decided to inlay a 1/4" thick piece of oak on the edge.

front ledger is going to be a problem
This is plywood (did I write this already?) and hand chopping a rabbet this long and over an inch wide is wow, not happening. I would have done it in solid wood though. I can't get a rabbet plane in here so I'll be using a electric router on this.

the pine is higher then the ledger and the router will ride on it
clearance for the router
I set the 1/4" inlay strip onto of the pine and set the router on that. I dropped the router bit until it touched the shelf - depth for the inlay strip set. I moved the pine over close to the edge and started routing for the inlay. I kept moving the pine to the left until the router fence hit the the edge of the shelf and made the last pass.

chopped and the ends square and the fit is good
I am flush with the bottom of the shelf and the edge. Other than the mountain of wood dust all over the shop, this worked out well.

glued and cooking
I read a blog post (I can't remember who) about a painted shelf, latex paint, and it not being quite dry. The author was concerned about the latex paint sticking to whatever was placed on it (a problem with latex paint). He had the same feeling with the paint I'm having. He put two coats of water based poly on the shelf and a year later he said no problems with anything sticking. I think I will try that on the bookcase interior and the shelves. On past painted clock projects I had applied shellac over the paint but that was to make it easier to dust them off.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Florence Nightingale Graham?
answer - beauty entrepreneur Elizabeth Arden

Bodensee - Lake Constance

Old Ladies - Pedder's blog - Sun, 06/18/2017 - 1:17am
Die letzten beiden Tage habe ich im WIFI Hohenems mit Alex und vielen Tischlern aus der Umgebung verbracht. Alex hat die Bilder gemacht und ist deshalb nicht drauf.

 The last two days I spent with Alex a a couple of furntiture maker in the WIFI Hohenems.
 Alex made the pictus and therefore, he doesn't appear,

They build benches and different projects, but I was asked to talk saws.

Die Gruppe traf sich um Hobelbänke zu bauen oder voranzubringen. Ich habe ein bisschen was über Sägen schärfen und Design erzählt. Da alle schon eine Säge gebaut hatten, konnten wir usn gleich um Details kümmern.
Dannn haben wir einige Sägen angesehen, die ich dabei hatte und die die Kursteilnehmer dabei hatten. Und haben schärfen geübt.

Then we had a looke at some saws I brang and some of the partitipants brang. an practiced saw sharpening.

The other day the had to rush on the benches so I was free to play around. Started a rack.

Am nächsten Tag mussten alle an ihren Projekten weiterarbeiten. Zeit für mich die Möglichkeiten des WIFI zu nutzen. Ein irre großer  Bankraum und ein noch größerer perfekt ausgesstatteter Maschinenraum.

Ich muss dringend selber lernen, vernünftige Schwalbenverbindunge zu sägen.

I need to learn sawing dovetails myself.

Am Abend durften wir dann noch Gerd Fritsche in seiner Werkstatt besuchen. Einige haben die Gelegenheit genutzt, und Schärfwerkzeuge für Sägen bestellt.

In the evening we visited Gerd Fritsche's workshop. Some ordered saw sharpening tools!
Und dann haben wir mit einem wundervollen Blick auf den Bodensee zur Nacht gegessen.

And then we had a wonderull night meal with view over Lake Constance.

Categories: Hand Tools

John Makepeace Talk

David Barron Furniture - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 11:54pm

Just a reminder that the John Makepeace talk is on Monday 26th June at 2.30 pm in Beaminster Dorset. More details and tickets here
To get in the mood I'll be re reading this fascinating book about John and his life and work, well worth adding to your collection

We are having a few days away in West Dorset and went to the Bridport Food Festival yesterday, they couldn't have wished for a better day.

There were lots of local suppliers of all things tempting!

Here's my wife trying some local honey.

I was drawn to this larger than life steel robot standing guard outside one of the tents. A great example of recycling it's made from car exhausts.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Tree That Sparked an Industry and a Riot

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 11:26pm

The mighty Eastern White Pine.

In May of 1605 explorer Captain George Waymouth and his crew arrived off the coast of the “Northern part of Virginia” as that part of the New World was called. They were on a small island off the coast of what is now known as Maine and near the mouth of the Tanahock River, later to be known as the St. George’s River.

A copy of a copy of the 1610 Simancas (Spain) archive map. From the Maine Historical Society.

Captain Waymouth took soundings and other measurements during the exploration but no maps survive. We do have the account of James Rosier, a gentleman employed on the voyage who wrote “The True Relation of the Most prosperous voyage made this present yeere 1605 by Captain George Waymouth in the Discovery of the land of Virginia” (that’s the shortened title). He provides a description of the fruits and trees found in mid-May while still on the island:

After  construction the smaller boats for navigating in shallower waters they started to make excursions to to other islands and into the river. They were astounded by the freshness of the water, the abundant catches of fish and the many deep coves along the river. In mid-June Rosier wrote:

The “notable high timber trees, mast for ships of 400 tun” were the Eastern White Pine, Pinus strobus. Captain Waymouth was not on a pleasure cruise. He and and his crew were on a voyage to find and report on resources and within several decades the business of mast-making would become the first major industry of New England.

By the 17th-century Britain had exhausted the supply of timber need to make single-stick masts for the ships of the Royal Navy. Britain was in fierce and expensive competition for Baltic fir with Spain, France and Holland. A new and cheaper source for mast timber was desperately needed and Pinus strobus was the answer.











Filed under: Historical Images
Categories: Hand Tools

The Rhythm of Work — Lost Art Press

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 8:44pm

“The man nowadays who is able to do a job at his own pace is one of the fortunate ones. Then to one he’ll either be a craftsman with a small workshop of his own or a man working at a hobby. A feeling of enjoyment so much more often accompanies work that is freed […]

via The Rhythm of Work — Lost Art Press

Haven’t I been trying to get this message across in my entire blog

Categories: Hand Tools

Small Tool Storage Solution Prototype

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 7:58pm
It had been one of those weeks. Family medical crises, waiting rooms, playing taxi driver, and phone calls, my god the phone calls. By the middle of the week I was feeling more than a little restless and stuck in my head. It was almost 9:00 at night, the sun was just thinking about setting, I turned to my wife and said something like,

"Since everything seems to be under control at the moment, I think I'd like to go out to the shop for a bit. I'll probably just clean up and organize something. Does that sound OK?" 

"Yes honey. That's fine. Go do your thing." 

I flipped on the lights, fired up the fans that circulate the summer humidity, and started putting away errant tools left out. I vacuumed up shavings and sawdust from the floor and started moving stock around one the lumber racks. I started moving a pile of thin 1/8" and 1/2" thick pine I had leftover from resawing 1x stock and I had a thought. 

This was going to be more than just a clean up night. 

Top tray of my tool chest

Middle tray of my tool chest.
I love working out of my traditional tool chest, but I had been gathering clutter in a couple areas and it has been driving me crazy. Pencils, pens, rulers and dividers form a huge golumpus mass in the top tray, and I've never been happy about my mixing of screwdrivers, pliers, nippers and spokeshaves in the middle tray. I never intended it, it just one of those things that happen, but the thin, resawn stock I was holding suddenly seemed like the answer. 

I pulled everything I wanted out of the tool chest and laid it out on the work bench. 

I watch a lot of maker videos in a year, but less woodworking videos than you'd think. I feel like I get more from videos by blacksmiths, replica prop makers, 3D printing gurus and backyard mechanics. Looking outside your chosen genre brings fresh ideas and perspective to your work. Earlier that day, sitting in an ICU waiting room, I was binging Adam Savage's "One Day Build" videos from tested.com particularly one about file storage and his rolling pliers stand.  

Adam buys into a tool storage system he calls First Order Retrieval or F**k Drawers. I cannot say I agree with his views. I prefer a more minimalist approach, but apparently I was failing that in at least 33% of my tool chest till space. For a while I had considered just screwing a plastic cup to the wall by the pencil sharpener, but that only addressed a part of the problem. 

Then I thought about how my friend Tom Latane stores his scrolling pliers in his blacksmith shop. The stock in my hands was a catalyst and with a couple quick gesture drawings in my shop sketchbook and I started moving forward.

A very satisfying little project, took about three hours sketchbook to lights off. I chose not to break down the build here for a couple reasons. My daughter asked for one of her own right away and I think I can improve on the concept with slightly different materials. Also I want to get better at video: shooting, editing, all the things, and I believe you get better by jumping in and doing it, making mistakes and doing it better.  Since I have another to build I thought I'd shoot my own version of the Tested One Day Build video. That will show all the build decisions and details and should be in the works in the next week or so.

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

You Tube Entertainment

Brese Plane - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 8:56am

We don't have commercial television. Years ago when we first moved into our house (after 4 years of construction) the upstairs was not yet finished. One of the upstairs rooms was to be our den of sorts. Actually it's a bedroom that we've decided to make our den. It's multipurpose. We have a sofabed in that room so it easily doubles as a guest room when need be. But I digress.

We built our house ourselves and you tend to get worn out doing so. After moving in it would have been easy to get complacent and drag our feet on finishing the upstairs. We decided, as an incentive, that we would not move the satellite for our television to the new house until the upstairs was finished. During that period of time we read a lot, listened to the radio a great deal and were quite happy doing without television. So when the room was completed we had grown quite accustom to not having commercial television. We quite enjoyed not being exposed to the constant bombardment of ads making us believe we needed things that quite frankly we did not need.  It's sort of like the philosophy of not spending money on cheap things in order to buy one thing of great quality.

So after purchasing a television for the new room we decided to create a subscription to Netflix. this allows us to decide what we want to watch and when. Now I know there are many devices to allow you skip thru ads, etc., but between Netflix and a couple other sources of video content we are quite satisfied with our viewing options.

Being a maker of sorts I am of course interested in other people that are also makers of one kind or another and You Tube is a great source of this type content.

The Hand Tool woodworking community is quite unique and a group of people I'm quite proud to be associated with. But to think that we are solely unique in this world would be untrue. There is also an entire community of home shop machinist. With the amount of metal working I do it only makes sense that I would be interested in the goings on of that community as well. This community came about due to the efforts of a guy named Lyle Peterson, known on You Tube as Tubalcain. He started posting how to videos of machining operations and quickly found that he had numerous subscribers which encouraged him to post more and more videos. Then came along other personalities like Adam Booth, known as Abom79, and Keith Rucker of Vintage Machinery.org. If interested click their names to obtain links to their You Tube channels. This is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. On these You Tube creators pages you will find links to many others.

And then there's the woodworking channels. This can be a quagmire of many many channels to sort thru to find the ones worth time for your particular interest. It seems every person with a table saw, router and random orbit sander thinks they have a wealth of knowledge to share with the world. I've noticed the more outlandish the personality of the host the less real skill they have to share. In other words they're trying to make up in personality what they lack in actual woodworking talent. There are the exceptions however.

Jay Bates for instance. Jay uses a mixture of  machine tools and hand tools to complete his projects. That's a work method many can relate to. He is also a talented video editor and does interesting things with special effects. This makes his work quite interesting and entertaining. See the video below of Jay building a hickory side table.

Treebangham is another You Tube creator that I enjoy. Ken Bangham is a very skilled hand tool woodworker. Not only do I enjoy the actual projects he builds, I also enjoy and learn from his methods of hand tool work. I was inspired by his videos to make a Japanese tool box and subsequently I also made tool trays that help keep my bench top organized and these trays are stored in the Japanese tool box.

You'll notice that Ken is a bit more verbal in his videos than some, but that's okay because he does it well and uses it as a method to teach and entertain simultaneously.

Recently I've been watching Ishitani Furniture. Natsuki Ishitani is a young man who lives at the base of a volcano in Japan. Even though most Americans might think a Japanese craftsman using power tools and hand tools is a bit unusual, it's probably more common that we might imagine. Is Natsuki the most talented woodworker I've watched? Probably not, but I do like his non verbal style and his dog has loads of personality. His youthful enthusiasm and the way he attacks his work is fun to watch and the video is put together in a very interesting way. The music toward the end of his projects is very tastefully selected and seems to reflect the mood of the project.  Bear in mind he's not afraid to knock stuff together with a hammer. Very forcefully I might add. I like his design atheistic and the deliberate way he carries out his work.

In most cases when the host starts his video very in your face I'm immediately turned off. Like I mentioned before, in most case those creators have very little to share in real skill and are trying to win your subscription with an alter ego persona. This can be very annoying.

If you have to continually tell me how cool something is........it probably isn't.

Good luck perusing You Tube for quality woodworking content,


"Woodworker is just another name for Procrastinator"
                                                 Michael Dunbar, WIA Berea Kentucky 2008

Categories: Hand Tools

The Rhythm of Work

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 6:17am

“Garden Gates,” The Woodworker magazine, August, 1947

“The man nowadays who is able to do a job at his own pace is one of the fortunate ones. Then to one he’ll either be a craftsman with a small workshop of his own or a man working at a hobby. A feeling of enjoyment so much more often accompanies work that is freed from outside control, when that control takes the shape of a nagging foreman or an impatient boss. The queer thing is that when these no longer have to be encountered, our own moods and temperaments want to take charge, as variable as the weather and just about as dependable. It is then that the craftsman has to assert himself and put the mood in its place, knowing very well that it will play high jinks with his work if he isn’t careful. Once he has really started, no matter how lazy or disinclined he may have felt, the odds are that the mood will recede, the work will catch hold of him and bring an enjoyment of its own.

“The pace and the manner are the things that count. If we fling ourselves into any job with a “Let’s get it over and done with” feeling, the chances are that we shall soon be running up against snags caused by own impatience. If we take it up at an even pace, then a regular rhythm of work develops, hand and eye are co-operating in friendly unison, and if we come up against difficulties we shall be all set to tackle them. At least they will not have been created by our own frenzied desire to get on, which is at the root of the most botched work.

“The sense of haste in the modern world is infectious. We must always be wanting to rid ourselves of the work in hand so that we can start something else. It may be because already we can visualise the new things as having more perfection than the old, or because we very quickly tire of a job and want novelty. Or it may all come round to the same thing, that we do not give ourselves utterly and wholly to the work we are doing, because that means putting that little bit of extra pressure on ourselves which is necessary for work of the very best kind. It is, I believe, an almost universal shirking and it keeps us working at second-best.

“And yet the opportunity is there for every man who knows how to handle a tool. Knowledge alone is not enough, skill alone is not enough, for the perfect use of them depends on what a man can give of himself. For when all is said and done he is not a precision tool, or a robot, or a machine, nor even—by nature—a machine minder. Something he is of all these things, but he has also that gift which is so utterly his own, his restless, eternal, questing spirit, which keeps him ever searching for beauty and everlastingly trying to create it. This is the power behind his technical capacity if he learns to harness it, the power by which he can attain to the sense of balance and good judgment which are among the first requisites of beauty. The rest will vary with the man himself. This is the great glory of our personality, that each individual touch is different, so that throughout the great ages of craftsmanship the work of each worker stood out from its fellows even if it was never stamped with his name. Nowadays the individual touch is swamped in mass production. But it still lives on in the small workshop and in the home, wherever there is a woodworker to remember that tools are excellent things, but that it is a man with a tool in his hand who is the hope of the world. He will always be the one to keep his own courage alight and that of his fellows, because he will have discovered some of the things he can do and know that one life is not long enough to find them all. Always there will be for him the perfection that lies in wait just round the corner, to reach which needs every ounce of the effort he can put out. And even in his failure he may pass on to his fellows those glimpses which the world will treasure, seeing in them its dearest hope.”

— Charles Hayward, The Woodworker magazine, 1947

Filed under: Honest Labour, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools


Tico Vogt - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 6:01am

Feast your eyes on this fantastic short film.

“Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms,” Foxwell told Colossal. “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood.”

WoodSwimmer: A New Stop-Motion Short Made Entirely by Tediously Cutting Through Wood

SketchUp Class At Marc Adams, July 22-23, 2017

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 3:51am
One of my favorite weekends of the year is teaching SketchUp at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in Indiana. There are still a few spots available in this years class on the weekend of July 22 & 23. Complete … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

English scythes at the Somerset Scythe Festival 2017

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 2:46am
A old scythe is passed on to a new generation but will youth bring competition victory? Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Lyre Guitar

Journeyman's Journal - Sat, 06/17/2017 - 2:43am
  • Maker: Possibly Joseph Pons (French, born 1776) (probably a son of César Pons)
  • Date: ca. 1805
  • Geography: Paris, France
  • Culture: French
  • Materials: Mahogany, spruce, ebony, brass, nickel-silver, gilding
  • Dimensions: Height: 34 1/4 in. (87 cm) Width: 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm)


This form of the guitar was created about 1785. The columnar arms supporting the yoke are veneered in mahogany. The guitar has six single courses of strings. A printed label inside the instrument reads: “Pons / fils / luthier, / Rue du Grand Hurleur / No. 5 / A Paris, an 13.” The phrase “an 13” refers to the thirteenth year (1804–1805) of the French Revolutionary Calendar.
Renaissance paintings by Lorenzo Costa and Raffaellino Garbo show lyre-guitars held upright (possibly interpretations of incised strings in classical bas-reliefs), as they were properly held by the player. Essentially, the lyre-guitar was a modified version of the lyre of antiquity, but with a fingerboard and six strings. English lyre-guitars were sold from 1811 as the six-string “Apollo” lyre of Edward Light and the twelve-string “Imperyal Lyre” of Angelo Benedetto Ventura.

Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings:  (printed label within ornamental border) “Pons, fils/luthier,/Rue du Grand Hurleur/No. 5/A Paris, an 13.”; (stamped on front of pegbox and on soundboard just below fingerboard) “Pons fils/à Paris”

Categories: Hand Tools


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