The greatest progress often comes in the face of adversity and without pressure we cannot grow. I demonstrate the steps that need my input to pave the way for everyone as they progress into realms of becoming skilled and I see things I see as growth when others think that have stayed the same. Now the students go to the tools and work the wood with much less conscious effort even though they have uncertainty as to the outcome. The tools, sharp and repeatedly sharpened follow simple and basic patterns yet the basics makes the all the big difference. More than that though, most of the work brings unquantifiable reward, especially when the box lid closes with its unique clunk and you step back into your space and simply stare.
Friendships form and breaks in silence usually start with a joke about the intensity of concentrations beyond screens and keyboards. The difference is remarkable of course. Who could ever compare touching keys on a key board with the keys of a piano or the key sounds of planes on wood and saws separating waste from wanted wood? Of course one produces present and emerging reality and the other images of the past only. Banter creeps generously between benches and between bouts of dedicated intent to plane the wood and make the joints a tight fit. Phil jumps in to help throughout the day with good advice and so too John who now knows more than I do about hand tools and sharpening and restoring them for future use in Patagonia. Here John has done an exceptional job restoring yet another handsaw. I feel a certain pride in what we are all doing because somehow it validates what I once could only dreamed of. Making woodworkers is as much a creative process as making furniture pieces or musical instruments or canoes and boats. You must have a plan and something to work to but when I started teaching I had no patterns to really follow. When I began teaching it was because people kept asking me if they could learn from me in a class. For a few years I just said no every time and then one day I said OK. I would teach just one one-day class. The result wasn’t to give up making and wear fancy designer work clothes emblazoned with DeWalt and Makita or Bosch and sit on a pedestal but to keep making and add another eight hours a day to my already busy schedule as a maker. One thing that has proven itself time and time again is working with the video team to make over 250 videos to use as a teaching medium for woodworkers around the world. In spite of that I am still a maker and design my work around the added things I do. As I said, without pressure we simply do not grow and without adversity character is rarely formed. It’s no wonder advertising companies contact us daily to ask us to ‘partner’ with them. These online advertisement companies and promoters promise to screen advertisers to make certain their product falls in line with my work online. The emails usually start out with something like, “Hi, Love your blog, really good way of addressing the issues,” blah, blah, blah. In the first sentence I can see that they didn’t actually read the blog but did do the numbers in terms of hits and page views and so on with regard to our popularity. Mostly I delete the emails and mark them as spam or trash so that we can terminate future pestering. I like our advert-free blogging protocol even though I can see that some adverts might have value.
Today we began the third project and the intricacies of making shelving units. Of course the tools move more quickly now and the cuts hit the mark exactly. it seems an easier project but soon they will see added features I built in to add the demand and challenges I spoke of above.
I spent much of my time between lectures and demoes restoring the occasional table we filmed for the upcoming series that starts tomorrow. here is the preview of what you will miss if you are not a member. As I said, the students are proving more and more the amazon work we are doing through the online broadcast because they arrive with more knowledge and skills than ever before. Thats been wonderful.
I glued up my table after I removed all of the existing finish, glue and so on. The joints were of course all numbered and they still fit after I stripped everything off. I replaced and scraped all of the surfaces so that the wood would cosily match the one I replicated as a second table. Tomorrow they will stand side by side.
I was browsing through E Bay when I came accross this supplier of old work benches http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Large-workbench-antique-sideboard-butchers-block-kitchen-shop-display/321547334699?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140328180637%26meid%3Dfcbc9875d27e4665958880fc86935b5b%26pid%3D100009%26prg%3D20140328180637%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D251673019980
He's selling them for £400 to £500 each as antique displays for large houses but some of them would be far better off returned to their original use. The Scandinavian style is a great bench particularly for dovetailing. I have a version on the drawing board at the moment, but I'm not sure when I'll have time to build it!
This one here caught my eye, well past it's best, but have you ever seen a tail vice that big?!
So guess what I did today?
Today I was in the shop of Kelly Robbins who does screen printing and embroidery. Kelly, his wife and parents have been running Robbins Apparel since 1997, with Kelly working full-time for the last five years. As you can see, it is a small shop that requires a good amount of hand work. Today I was “catching” the garments after they were heated to cure the ink, which was a hot job!
Kelly starts with a poly material that he puts into a machine that places the art image onto it. I’m not really sure how it happens, but after spraying it with water the image becomes visible. This “screen” is now ready to be inserted into the print machine, which squeegees ink onto the garment.
In order to get the art to line up exactly with the zipper, Kelly thought like a woodworker. He put the image onto the carrier and then when he placed the hoodie onto the carrier he only had to unzip it a bit to see where the image was going to be placed.
And for the final very hot product…
Hooded sweatshirts are now live on the site. Get yours here.
Filed under: Products We Sell
The arch, the upper side horizontals, and the vertical posts come together in a pair of 3-way miter joints at the top of the case. That's the short version. And from an aesthetic point of view, that's really the version that matters. As long as the joint is cleanly made, the eye will freely run along the lines of the case. But from a construction point of view, things are almost never that simple. If there are any gaps, voids, or other breaks in the surface, the eye stops there, and the mind will take note. Much like a shrieking saxophone or clarinet in an orchestra, it won't matter if the melody is miraculous. It's the shriek that you'll notice, and the reverie will be interrupted. So, to make those clean transitions, understanding what's going on is a huge help... and I didn't properly understand what was going on when I got started on this project. So I'm going to break down this deceptively simple looking joint, before we get into how it was done.
On the side of the clock, the vertical post meets the upper horizontal in a 45 degree miter. That's pretty straightforward. I'm going to refer to this as the side miter.
On the front of the clock, the vertical post meets the arch in another miter joint, that's cut at an angle that I've never bothered to measure in terms of degrees. Those miter lines point from the top corners of the case, directly to the center of the clock face. The inner radius of the arch is concentric with the dial, so the miter line runs radially through that edge. I'll refer to this as the front miter.
The curved top surface of the arch meets the upper surface of the upper horizontal members in a 45 degree miter. And I'll refer to this as the top miter. And this is where things start to get funky in the mechanics of the joint.
The plane of the cut for the side miter is at 90 degrees to the plane of the side of the clock. Or, the table saw blade is at 90 degrees to the table, when those miters are cut on those pieces. The cut for the front miter is also cut at 90 degrees to the plane of the surface. That's pretty straightforward. And in my head, that made everything seem very, very simple. That should have been a clue to me that something was awry, I guess. But because the face miter is cut at a different angle as the side miter, the edge where those two cuts intersect gets skewed to one side. So the three-way miter becomes a three way compound miter.
Each cut defines a planar surface. Geometrically speaking, two planes that intersect will define a line along that intersection. Practically speaking, that line defines the edge that's made where the two cuts come together. And for this joint to work, the edge defined by the two cuts made on the vertical post, the edge defined by the two cuts on the horizontal member, and the edge that's defined by the two cuts on each end of the arch... those three edges must come together cleanly along their length, with all of the mating faces coming together fully.
The test joint actually came together cleanly, but if you zoom in on the picture, and see the different surfaces interacting, you'll start to get an idea of just how many things can go wrong in the joint. Oh, and having one of these come together is hard enough. To cut the arch properly, there are two of these joints to consider, one on each end. Which brings us back to the top miter.
To cut that compound miter, the 45 you see on the surface is defined in relation to the top edge of the horizontal, and the back edge of the arch. The angle of the blade during the cut, which is what makes this a compound miter, is defined in reference to the surface of the parts that will lie flat on the saw table.
But the top is curved. There is no reference surface.
Obviously, to be continued...
Some of you may have been worried in the last few dresser building posts that I may have rejected the use of hand tools. Well, this is definitely not so. Hand tools rule in this part of the dresser build. I don’t know how I would do without them. In fact this part would […]
The post Hand Tools Rule! Fitting the Interior Drawer Frames appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.
I know I’m lucky to have the hewing hatchets I do…I got mine from Alexander, and the legend is that Drew Langsner and Jennie (then-John) Alexander got them as partial payment for demos/lectures at Woodcraft back in 1979/80. I found this while down at Bob Van Dyke’s place this week:
– a 1971 Woodcraft Catalog, that listed the limited quantity axe heads they were then offering. Says the first 100 orders will be filled, but 9 years later, they still had leftovers? $12 must have been too steep a price…
I have written about this/these hatchets many times – here’s one post about them http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/the-endless-look-at-hewing-hatchets/
Now, if there was 100 of them 40 years ago, where are they now? I had 3, gave one away….
When people ask me what foods I hate, I usually say, “I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s prepared well.” I didn’t like Brussels sprouts until I had them roasted. I didn’t like oysters until I tried them right from the creek. And I didn’t like green beans until I had fresh ones (ugh, 1970s canned green beans;I’d rather eat bauxite). The same thing goes for furniture finishes. Most people […]
This is one of my favorite lines from an old SciFi TV show called Babylon 5. It's been ringing in my head over the last few days.
A month ago today I posted here about some beams I picked up to build a new bench. At the time I thought those beams would sit in the corner of the shop for at least a few months before I was able to fit a bench build into my schedule. That was supposed to give me time to dwell and think about bench I wanted to make. Carefully weigh and debate my options and maybe save some pennies for new hardware and vises.
This is usually how I work, A big project has to sit and ruminate in my mind for a while. I pick apart the details and build it over and over a hundred times before I pick up a saw. Then, once I'm ready to go I can move through the project efficiently, because I have it all planned out.
This time, a trouble maker raised his hand and threw a wrench in the gears.
Mike Siemsen, The Naked Woodworker himself, was having a little spoon carving gathering at his place and I asked if I could come, hang out, and learn some from the folks there, I've dabbled a little in spoons lately myself, nothing much to be proud of really. But Mike picked up on the bench build and offered to help me run them through the big machinery he has for the school.
How could I say no. I packed up the beams in the truck and headed out for the weekend.
Mike does not mess around with his machines.
I have never owned a powered joiner or planer but I can really respect the power and ability inherent in these size tools. Mike is probably right when he says owning a smaller joiner that his really is just playing around.
We ran the three thinner beams (4" thick = thinner. . . ) through the machines and glued them up into a benchtop in one evening. The next morning we scraped the glue and ran the whole benchtop through the planer one more time, top and bottom.
The result was spectacular.
We also sawed the larger beam in half and squared it up so I could bring it home and make my bench height decisions later. I just wasn't ready to commit just then, I hadn't cogitated on it for six months yet. And that's the crux of my next issue.
I don't want to wait to get this benchtop framed into a bench. The longer I wait to get it fixed the greater the chance of something going wrong, the top warping or falling off the stools I have it sitting on. I just can't let myself wait and see if it goes wrong. The same idea as gluing up a panel of boards as soon as possible after you joint and plane them. you want to lock in that flatness with the strength of the surrounding timber. Strength in numbers.
So for me, a simple pebble, the avalanche has started. It doesn't matter what else is on my plate, (and there are quite a few things right now) today is the time to build a bench.
Thanks Mike for the kick in the ass!
Ratione et Passionis
That Steven Johnson just won’t leave me alone. I’m thinking of blocking his email address. He just won’t stop bugging me about the Festool cord-and-hose boom arm. I’m hoping for one of two outcomes. Either he sees I’m happy with this month’s tip to solve the problem or alternatively, maybe he thinks I’m just fooling myself and he will take pity on me and just send me one. Prepaid, that is. Of course, he said he’s going to send me some of his “gently-used” washers, too, but I’m still waiting.
So, what are the chances he’ll be sending me a boom arm that costs $365.00? Well, OK, I’ll give you that it goes everywhere your CT dust extractor goes, which means there’s no disconnecting and moving, as there is with my bungee cord. And, it’s always set up and ready to use. Oh, yeah, and there’s no hunting for the end of the hose or the cord. Y’know what? Maybe that Steve Johnson is onto something. Where’s my Highland Woodworking order form? Until we can get a Festool boom, you and I can enjoy my bungee cord version below:
The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – Tip #41 – The bungee cord vs. the Festool cord-and-hose boom arm appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Since I do not seem to have read it anywhere outside of this old continent, I say it to you: Clico sold Clifton to Thomas Flinn & Co.
And the new owners have now changed the color from british-dark-racing-green to graphite gray.
And my English friends did not take it too well. :-)
Siccome non mi sembra di non averlo letto da nessuna parte al di fuori di questo vecchio continente, ve lo dico io: la Clico ha venduto la Clifton alla Thomas Flinn & Co.
E i nuovi proprietari gli hanno subito cambiato il colore da verde-scuro-da-gara-britannico in grigio grafite.
Ed i miei amici inglesi non l'hanno presa toppo bene. :-)
Sources and references:
Fonti e riferimenti:
I’ll never know the pain of childbearing, but I think I know the next-closest thing: bench building. That why I include a full bottle of ibuprofen on the list of tools needed for my bench-building classes.
Students think I’m kidding about the pills, but by mid-week they are hitting my personal bottle of painkillers like a candy bowl at the front desk of a Mars bar factory.
For 2015, I am offering four bench-building classes on three continents: Australia, North America and England. I don’t know how many more of bench classes I have in me, so take that as fair warning. Here are details:
Build a Roubo Workbench at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking, Feb. 23-27, 2015
The owner of the Melbourne, Australia, school scored a load of sweet yellow pine benchtops that are already glued up. We’re going to transform these into some fantastic French-style workbenches with the traditional joint: a sliding dovetail and through-tenon at each corner.
As always, you can add your own vises to build the bench of your dreams. That’s one of the huge advantages of the open architecture of the French format.
For this Australia class I’ll also bring a stomach pump in addition to my painkillers. Aussies drink like Germans.
Knockdown Nicholson at The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville, Md., May 4-8, 2015
Knockdown Nicholson at The New English Workshop, July 20-24, 2015
The knockdown Nicholson workbench is a new design this year (check out details here). I’ve made many Nicholson-style workbenches, but this one is by far the best, easiest to build and knocks down in less than five minutes.
This bench is suited for anyone who doesn’t have a dedicated shop space, or who might need to move their bench on occasion. However, even if you don’t fit in those categories, this bench offers no downsides. Unlike other knockdown benches I’ve worked on, this one has no compromises. It is as solid as a French bench.
The version we’re building has no screw-feed vises, but you can bring whatever you like and we’ll add them to your bench. A leg vises would be ideal for the face vise position. I personally wouldn’t add a tail vise to this bench – I work just fine without one – but this bench can accept several tail vises as well.
While I am very much looking forward to returning to Royal Leamington Spa and Warwickshire College for this course, I am not sure how the local pubs feel about our triumphant return.
Build a French Bench at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, Aug. 10-14, 2015
Using sweet, sweet ash from Horizon Wood Products, we’ll be building full-on Roubo-style workbenches in the well-equipped shop at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. And we will most certainly have a pizza-eating contest that week, courtesy of Frank Pepe’s.
As mentioned above, you can add whatever vises you like to this bench.
— Christopher Schwarz
P.S. There is one more workbench class scheduled for 2015: The French Oak Roubo Project. While that class is full, get on the waiting list if you want to do it. Spots may yet open up.
Filed under: Woodworking Classes, Workbenches
The nine-day class starts its fourth day on track today and as usual it’s heads down and no need to crack the whip. Already I see new levels of confidence even though at times they may feel they are floundering. The chisels are held more accurately now and so too the plane cleans off the nubs of the dovetailed boxes ready for hingeing the lids. Today we start shelf building and that means stopped housing dadoes and through mortise and tenons.
I see more and more the need for my work and of course some people arrive with skills and knowledge where others come to get them. All in all there is a lit to learn for both camps and those somewhere in between. Most of the time its a smooth flow throughout the day but then glitch comes and everyone learns from what happens. Dealing with high expectations is usually the biggest issue for some. False expectations and a microwave mentality can be difficult to shift from but when I explain that unrealism causes more distress than the real we move on and become increasingly more aware that the process brings fulfilment and not falling into the pit of wanting being approved. If you are already there then there is no achievement. Without a mountain there is no challenge. We are learning that life is indeed like wood in that it comes with knots in it.
All in all we are already making great progress and new reality is beginning for everyone. In this class we have three from the US and one from Switzerland as well as the Brits. Personalities start to show and people relax with one another a little more hour by hour. New friendships are formed and smiles come more quickly. Willie from Switzerland takes the jokes of high expectation because everyone expects his work to be as a Swiss-made watch and Steve, our retired symphony violinist, takes my suggestions of risk at the tool edge alongside my comparisons with tweaking the pressures on the strings to achieve perfect cuts with good humour too.
John made another masterful box with a sliding lid from secondhand oak and mahogany. Its very fine with 1/8” mortise and tenoned frame and panel and shaped sliding lid in quartersawn oak. We are al inspired by one another. Fires rarely burn with a single log but when two logs and then a third and fourth and more ignite and spark you start a blaze of spontaneity and inspiration.
The tool chest is finally completely finished. Paint and all. I first padded shellac over the paint and leveled out some of the dust nibs and junk in the paint. Then this weekend I laid out and painted all the banding. I decided to scratch the lines first and then fill it in with pigmented shellac. This made getting straight lines easy and also required less pigment than if I had to paint over all that burnt sienna and burnt umber. I used a piece of scrap wood as a straight edge and a small nail set to scratch the width of the line I needed.
After I painted all the yellow in my scratch lines, I proceed to layout 1/4" knife marks to alternate black and yellow. Then I filled in every other box with black pigmented shellac. An unintended benefit to scratching the banding in first is that once completed, the sheen of the grained portions differs from the banding. I think is looks a lot more convincing that way. It gives it a visual texture that paint alone can't achieve.
Remember the original 1814 chest of drawers I'm basing this paint scheme on?
After a long slog we've finally updated our Split Top Roubo Plans to include our Benchcrafted Crisscross.
Couple reasons this has taken so long. First, we made some other changes along the way that we thought would justify a delay on doing a major update. Second, while we were making the updates we lost all our files that make easy updates possible. Several hard drives, and even backup drives were corrupted. This happened right on the cusp of being finished with the big update. So we had to rebuild the plans from the ground up. And of course this meant going through all the dimension yet again to make sure we hadn't made any errors (there are a LOT of numbers to consider.)
But that is all water under the bridge. The good news is the updated plans are at the printer and should be available to ship by the end of the week. The new plans show the Crisscross, the new Glide M/C as well as all the drawings for Crisscross-related joinery that we've been supplying at the end of the Crisscross and Glide installation instructions for the past couple years. Here's another nice bit. If you're installing a Classic Leg Vise instead of a Glide, you can build the bench exactly from the plans. Both vises fit the bench the same way. The only difference is that the Classic mounts to the chop with wood screws instead of machine screws. That's it.
We'll also be updating the Crisscross and Glide installation instructions so the additional templates aren't included any longer. That would just be confusing if you're building the Split Top Roubo. The plans show everything you need to know.
Special thanks to our tireless draftsman Louis Bois.
It goes without saying that there is a renewed interest in hand tool woodworking, and much has been written on the topic, and that’s great because there really is a lot to know about these tools that are “new” to many woodworkers. That said, my experience with hand tools has taught me one thing – Keep it Sharp! Whether a saw, knife or blade, sharp tools cut more accurately, safely […]
The only before picture I have. Its sitting right next to the Stanley type 2.
It looks like this plane was made between 1902 and 1906.
And Compared to the #6