Jump to Navigation

Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway!  Enjoy!

Do you have a suggestion for a hand-tool woodworking blog you would like to see here?  Tell me via the CONTACT page.  Thanks!


Dedicated Moulding Plane(s)

Musings from Big Pink - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:48pm
Once I set up a tool and get it perfect it goes in a box and out the door.

There are times when the last part of this process is harder than others. Sometimes I really have a hard time putting the plane in the box. 

I posted a few commentaries regarding spring angles for dedicated planes last week. The first is here, and addendum is here.

We settled on the final plane and I completed sharpening it today. It will ship tomorrow.

What's different about this time? Well, every time I make one of these dedicated planes I half-heartedly wish the customer backs out and I get to keep it. This plane had my attention once it was decided that we're springing the plane. The profile will fit well into my various presentations. I liked the profile a lot so I cut the line/back log and made one for myself.

Come check it out at Handworks in May. 

Here are a couple more that I recently made.

"Get 'em ready, put 'em in a box. Repeat."

"Oh, the plane is working great! Just as I like it. Put it in a box. Repeat."

Try to guess what this scraping plane I recently made will specifically be used for. Hint: the answer is in the picture.
Categories: Hand Tools

Bonhams – The Scottish Sale

Pegs and 'Tails - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:40pm
Bonhams are conducting The Scottish Sale in Edinburgh over the two days of the 15th and 16th of April, 2015. Amongst the furniture on offer is this Edinburgh-made George III mahogany bureau bookcase, attributed to London-trained Francis Braidwood (1752-1827). George … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Lea leaves us for Slovakia tomorrow

Paul Sellers - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 3:04pm

There’s not much to this really, and yet there is.

P1040666_2Tomorrow Lea (pronounced Leah) will leave us for the fourth time. She made several things including an unusual replication of the 19th century splay lagged table we made on woodworking masterclasses last year. I think all in all she has been with us for three months now so that’s quite a concentrated period of solid making time. When she returns she will stop in to see her parents in Prague and I said it will be nice that she can show her mother what she made. She said, “Yes, but she will say, ‘Why woodwork?’” Leah smiles at me and then quotes her mother further. “Isn’t woodwork for men?’ ” I’m sure there is significance in the question, but I have learned all too often that people assume one thing when it can be entirely another.

P1040439The month has passed quickly for all of us and having Lea here has been wholly enjoyable and it’s because I know for me it’s been because I see something in Lea that may not be obvious to Lea’s mother. I’ve been mentoring Lea through three or four projects this visit. I watched her finish her table, and it’s got complexities in it’s constructs that defy more modern methods. As she worked I saw not only examples of her very fine workmanship; some of the best I’ve seen really, but the hidden beauty of pure resoluteness. What she has is essential to craftsmanship and I think the assumption is that woodworking requires more heavy handedness perhaps more typical of carpentry and joinery whereas Lea worked the whole time with very careful consideration for all that she did. she worked with gentleness and care with firmness and diligence, patience and kindliness. Her thoughtfulness and total attention meant mistakes were almost none. P1040453_2These are characteristics she’d developed by her own personality of self-discipline; characteristics I see but all too rarely in a power-driven world that’s so distorted the face of real craftsmanship. What I liked too is that she would apply the same care and concern to timber-framing, joinery and heavier areas of woodworking. She’s that type of woodworker you see. Anyway, it’s been very fine having her with us.

I asked Sam to stay on for a year or so with us. He said he could and he would. He too shares the same characteristics as Lea does. I will show you what they’ve made soon. Currently he’s making his workbench. It’s a rite of passage for every woodworker.P1040864

Phil and I are of course together every day as we work alongside one another most of the time. I think I know I speak for him when I say our lives have been all the more enriched by these two young people.

The post Lea leaves us for Slovakia tomorrow appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Update: ‘Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:11pm


If you’ve wondered why I’m losing my hair, it not entirely genetics. It also has to do with our upcoming title, “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of Henry O. Studley” by Donald C. Williams and Narayan Nayar.

The good news is that the book is in capable hands. We have Wesley Tanner (of “To Make as Perfectly Possible” fame) designing the book. And it is beautiful. We have photographer Narayan Nayar processing all the photos and dialing in the color for the press we are using. Plus I, Don Williams, Megan Fitzpatrick, Jeff Burks and others have been fine-tuning the text to make it as clean as we can.

What’s making me crazy, however, is the deadline. We have to get the book to the printer by midnight Thursday to ensure that it will be delivered in time for Handworks and the exhibit of the Studley tool cabinet and workbench in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

It will be a squeaker.

We plan to open pre-publication ordering for the book on Monday. The title will be full-color, 8-1/2” x 11”, 216 pages, and printed on beautiful and heavy matte paper with a stunning dust jacket. The price will be $49. We hope to offer free shipping for domestic customers who order before the press date, but we’re still running those numbers. Our kids have to eat, and I need to buy a 50-gallon vat of Rogaine.

We also plan to offer an option where you can order the book now and pick it up at Handworks – that will be the first place the book will be released to the public. More details on the ordering process over the weekend.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

Update: ‘Chairmaker’s Notebook’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:54pm

CN_cover_web2So where is Peter Galbert’s book “Chairmaker’s Notebook” that was supposed to ship from the printer on March 20? The book is supposed to leave the Tennessee printer today and arrive in our warehouse either tomorrow or Friday.

Then our fulfillment service is creating a special assembly line to process all of the orders (more than 1,100) immediately.

In other news about the book, we are preparing to publish a set of full-size plans for the two chairs in the book. These plans were hand-drawn by Peter and include the full-size seats with all the angles, all the turning profiles (both baluster and bobbin), plus the details on the bending form for the fan-back.

I’m currently scanning the plans and will have details on price and availability soon. These plans will not be bundled with the book and will be actually be produced and shipped by a third party. So no one is going to miss out on a deal or discount.

I’m driving up to our warehouse on Friday and should have photos of the finished product soon.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Chairmaker's Notebook
Categories: Hand Tools

Update: Hand Tool Immersion Class

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 12:43pm


I’d like to say “thank you” to all the woodworkers who have donated tools, money and offers of assistance for the Hand Tool Immersion class for new woodworkers being held at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking this fall.

The class filled up in 45 minutes. Marc encouraged me to hold a second one, but I’m afraid I am too tied up with <insert insane list of items here> to even consider it. The good news is that we are already planning additional deeply discount classes for new woodworkers for 2016. Details to come when they are available.


As to the tools y’all have sent, we now have an official imperial crapload of them in my sunroom. In fact, I think we’ll have all 18 students covered. We just have to first figure out exactly what each student needs to complete his or her toolkit.

By the way, if you are a student in this class, you should receive instructions in May on getting your toolkit sorted. So stay tuned on that front.

As to offers of food, teaching assistance and cheerleading, I want to say “yes” to all of the generous offers. I just need to talk over what is possible with Marc next month while I’m at the school. It’s his school, his facility and his insurance. So it’s really his call as to whether you can bring your flea circus to help flatten chisel backs.

The other update for this class (and the similar one in England) is that I’ve started building the tool chest we’ll all be building during these classes. I’ll be shooting photos and will have a manual for the students with drawings etc. This manual will allow me to take naps during the class, perhaps even to skip a couple days of the class to hit the Oaken Barrel for a bender. Who knows?

The wood for the chest is some sweet 4/4 white pine I recently scored. The stuff almost planes itself.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Woodworking Classes
Categories: Hand Tools

Carved name sign for Bernie

Mulesaw - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 11:52am
I found a piece of wood from an old pilot ladder that was broken, and since the name of the horse is of an appropriate length, the piece of wood was just the right size.

At first I ripped the plank to the desired width, then it was re sawed to a thickness of around 5/8"

I flattened the stock with my plane and squared the edges.

As usual, I taped on a print out of the name to be carved, and I also taped on two logos for the Danish Warmblood horse.

Transferring the outline of the letters to the wood is done by following the outline with a hobby knife. Just a bit more pressure than what is needed to cut through the paper results in a thin line on the wood that I use while carving.

The carving was done in my normal way i.e. with a hobby knife. For the rounded parts of the B and the R, I used a small scalpel like carving tool intended for carving linoleum. It was a bit easier for me to make the rounding look nice with the smaller tool.

The logos were also carved by means of the small scalpel.

When I get home, I plan on painting the name sign. It will be red background with white letters and white logos.

The carved name sign.

The broken step from a pilot ladder.

Layout of the name sign.

Categories: Hand Tools

New Knife Kits!

The Sharpening Blog with Ron Hock - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 11:44am
Our Two New Kits with Bubinga Scales

Our Two New Kits with Bubinga Scales

Two New Knife Kits – The 8” Slicing/Carver and The 8” Chef’s

Great news! Hock Tools just released two new kitchen knife kits. The  8” slicing/carving and 8” Chef’s knife kits are easily built and immensely satisfying projects. Together with our paring knife and 5” chef’s knife kits, you can now build a classic (and classy if I do say so myself!) set of exceedingly sharp and durable kitchen knives made of good old-fashioned 01 tool steel.

You probably already know that while stainless steel cutlery can be handy, nothing – and I mean nothing – cuts better in the kitchen than top quality, high-carbon tool steel. Our kitchen knife kits are made from 01 tool steel, the same steel we’ve been using for decades in Hock Tools plane blades, and in the knives in our own kitchen.

Yes, the knives above were made from our two new kits and from the same steel at the same hardness that you have come to value and rely on in Hock Tools woodworking blades. As a woodworker, you will appreciate how easily these knew knife blades sharpen and how sharp you can get and maintain them in your own kitchen. You know how tomatoes resist the slicer? Not when you slice them with this new slicer/carver. Keep it honed and tomatoes be sliced.

These Kit Blades come with 3 Steel Pins

These Kit Blades come with 3 Steel Pins

Remember, though, that a little care will prevent corrosion. A good tip is to dip your blade in water before slicing onions, apples, or potatoes. Fruits and vegetables like these benefit from a wet carbon blade rather than a dry one. And – this is very important for tool steel in the kitchen — wash and dry your high carbon kitchen knives after each use and never, never put them in the dishwasher. Stainless can’t hold a candle to the sharpness of these knives, but high carbon needs more of your love. Hone as necessary, and your new knife will be treasured for generations.

Although full instructions come with your kits, you can also find Hock Tools’ knife kit instructions on the Hock Tools website. Plus, there are woodworkers who have completed these kits and provided all sorts of how-to information:

Nik Brown, Digital Woodworker, August 21, 2014 Knifemaking video.

Jeffrey Fleisher, Shenandoah Tool Works, tool review for March issue of Highland Woodworking’s publication Wood News Online, March 2015 issue.

Infinity Tools’ Blog entry about assembling a Hock Knife Kit



Categories: Hand Tools

The Northeastern Woodworkers 24th Annual Showcase.

Tico Vogt - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 10:18am

It’s mud season in Saratoga Springs and that means it’s time for the Northeastern Woodworkers Association’s Annual Fine Woodworking Showcase.

I’m bringing the updated Vogt Shooting Board (the name is no longer the Super Chute) with redesigned Bamboo Runway surface and tool steel plate backing the acetal bearing strip.

R S Runway End View

R S Steel and acetal bearing strip

There is a new product as well, the Vogt Drill Press/Bandsaw Fence, which will soon be on my website.

R S VDPF and Sliding Block 2

R S VDPF Auxiliary Platform and Stops 2

R S VDPF Bottom View

This is a great show! I’m really looking forward to seeing my friends from the L-N crew, Geoff and Suzette Noden, and demonstrators George Walker, Bob Van Dyke, to name a few.

The winter has been long and severe and this is just the ticket to help break the ice.


It should be nice and warm in May for:

Handworks 2015 Banner

A Case For Sharp Tools-The Lid

Benchcrafted - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 8:24am

Now that I've been relieved of my secrecy by "the boss" I'm free to share some more about what ate up entirely too much of my December and January.

Last fall I got an email from Megan Fitzpatrick, editor of Popular Woodworking Magazine asking if I'd write for the magazine again. I of course said yes, since I not only have a personal affection for the staff at the magazine, but also because of how they treat their contributors. The past articles I've written have been published word for word, with only very minor, if any, editing (parenthetical words at the end of the sentence have their punctuation within the parentheses.) Not that I'm particularly concerned with being edited, but rather because I enjoy experiencing the voice of a particular writer almost as much as the content itself. Your experience may be different, since I wrote this article in the voice of Chewbacca.

The other reason I decided to take this project on was a complete no-brainer. Chris Schwarz asked if I'd make a fancy lid for a chest he would build, and then write about how I did it. It took me about three nanoseconds to make that decision.

The design for this lid sprung from an English chest featuring a joiner hoisting a frothy mug of ale before his bench and tools. Knowing I couldn't possibly improve on that absolutely perfect theme, I ventured off into my own territory, borrowing only the sunburst and central circle elements from the English chest.

I won't bore you with all the various iterations I played with before I settled on a final design, which didn't happen until I was nearly finished with the chest. The central circle was originally going to feature a painting of Daedalus' joiner from a famous Pompeii fresco, but Chris and I decided that as cool as that would be, something made of wood made more sense.

It wasn't until the last few weeks before the deadline that I decided on the carved montage of tools. Inspiration for this came from a 17th century Dutch joiner's guild coin, a carved marble panel of an absolute mess of tools, and strong urging from Chris.

The tools themselves are not just representative of craftsmanship in general, but are modeled after actual tools from my kit. The dividers were a Christmas gift from my family, a hand-forged set from blacksmith Seth Gould. The backsaw is an Eccentric Toolworks dovetail saw that was gifted to me by a dear friend. And the chisels are taken from engravings from l'Art du Menuisier, my favorite woodworking book. As with most woodworkers, hand-cut dovetails hold a special importance for me, so the tools reflect that.

This project is sort of like taking a steam roller to an oud. Lots of similar design elements, albeit on the flat plane. I'm okay with building this stuff in three dimensions, but for some reason laying it up on a solid panel had me scratching my head a bit. Not about the process, but more about the substrate. I cover the process of building a bomb-proof, stable, lightweight, nail-grabbing panel out of solid wood that has all the benefits, but none of the drawbacks of commercial ply. It's cool stuff.

And that reminds me that I have a few people to thank for helping me along the way.

Bill Thomas
Bill is one of the finest woodworkers I've never met. I've followed his work for a few years now, all online. If you want to see an absolute tour de force of woodworking technique, check out his Georgian Secretary build at the OWWM Woodworking forum.

Patrick Edwards
Yes, that one. The master.

Chris Schwarz
I haven't done too many joint projects in my time, but this has been the best. Chris gave me more or less free reign over the design. And he didn't balk one iota when I decided the lid looked too long for its width. He trashed the first dovetailed carcase and started fresh just for me.

Peter Ross
Peter was excellent to work with (as usual). I usually mate up work like this with highly refined hardware (polished brass or stainless). Not anymore. I think the crisp and rigid parquetry of the lid looks simply incredible with Peter's hand-forged wrought-iron work. The finish on the hinges and crab lock are right off the hammer and file, no polishing or further refinement. They look perfect with the lid. Perfect.

Raney Nelson
When I was in the throes of this project, and its looming deadline, Raney provided an excellent coalescing mechanism for some crazy ideas I had floating around. He also provided me with the excellent, infill-grade kingwood and boxwood I used for the backgrounds and tool montage.

Jon Fiant
That's your macassar ebony Jon, thanks again.

Before you ask me how many hours I have in the lid, know that I'm blissfully ignorant of that number. I think if I really knew how many late nights, weekends, early morning and "days off" I have in this, I would likely wretch. Still, it doesn't stop me from designing the next one in my head.

Chris' article on the chest comes out in the August issue, my bit in the following, October issue.

If you want to see this chest, I plan to have it in the Benchcrafted booth at Handworks on May 15-16.

Categories: Hand Tools

The History of Wood, Part 47

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 6:00am


Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Traveling Tool Chest with a Marquetry Lid

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:53am

My favorite project from 2014 is one I haven’t been able to talk much about, until now. Jameel Abraham of Benchcrafted and I collaborated on building a tool chest for a two-article series in Popular Woodworking Magazine. My article on building the chest will be in the August 2015 issue; Jameel’s article on the lid will be in the October 2015 issue. The idea for this special chest spawned from […]

The post Traveling Tool Chest with a Marquetry Lid appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Dovetails: A Knife, a Jig & Expert Instruction

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:07am

After workbenches and finishing, the questions we get asked most often are about hand-cut dovetails. So, we’ve put together a kit that includes the Woodjoy Precision Dovetail Template (the brass and black oxide one you’ve perhaps seen me use in the magazine and on the blog), an inexpensive but excellent marking knife from Lee Valley, Rob Cosman’s step-by step guide to dovetails, Ian Kirby’s book “The Complete Dovetail,” a Roy […]

The post Dovetails: A Knife, a Jig & Expert Instruction appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Home Made Tools

Hackney Tools - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 5:04am

I’ve bought and sold hundreds and hundreds of vintage woodworking tools over the years (my shop will be online very soon, just sorting out Paypal integration), and I’ve seen many craftsman-made tools in that time. Most usually they are made by pattern makers who perhaps didn’t want to pay good money for a tool they could make themselves, or sometimes they are just made by a craftsman who wants the challenge of making the tool as good as the original.
Colin Sullivan got in touch with me and sent these pictures over. I’m keen to see more examples of tools made by individuals. The work on this particular plane is as good as any I’ve seen.
Copy and words below from Colin Sullivan

I have been interested in Mitre planes and bevel up planes for years and when I injured my left hand index finger I was worried I would not be able to make things. During the few days I had off from work I decided to start making the plane shown.
It is exactly the same size as a Stanley no9 block plane with a few of my own ideas added including S/Steel. The blade angle is 22 deg. with the bevel up as the no9. The cap iron is from a Stanley no.4 transitional plane – because it is a bit longer than a normal one and almost the length of the no.9. The front infill knob is screwed to the adjustable part of the sole to allow a little adjustment to the mouth. The blade adjustment is controlled by turning the rear knob which works well. This proved so sucessful that I felt I could make a more accurate copy of the no9, and this is shown in the 3 pictures below.
I made this copy of a Stanley no.9 Cabinet makers Block Plane a few years ago. A friend had an original one that I carefully dimensioned and made a working drawing. I am a collector of American Stanley tools and this plane is top of my list for desirability, but because they fetch so much in auctions I decided the only way I would get one was to make it! When I was in business making spiral stairs we used stainless steel a lot on balustrades and stringers etc. It is the perfect material for making some tools because there is no chance of it rusting, it is not as difficult to work as people make out if you approach in the right way.
I cut out all the parts for this plane with the angle grinder using the new very thin cutting blades, you can buy-they are amazingly efficient and only 1mm or so thick. The box part is made up from 3mm s/s plate- welded together round a wooden block and cleaned up with the angle grinder and 120 grit soft discs. The cap iron is made from 10mm plate and is not bent but straight- tapered of at one end and longer than the standard ones. The blade is 3mm thick form Clifton Tools and holds an edge well, the mouth is adjustable and in fact made that part of the plane easier to make. The adjusting wheel I turned on my old lathe using a 8mm Allen grub screw for the thread which is right hand on these planes. The blade adjusting lever is the most difficult bit to make and get working properly.
The bracket that houses the adjuster and rosewood handle is made from angle s/s with a plate welded to it where it meets the plane, just the same as the Stanley. The polished finish was done with flap wheels in the pillar drill after the angle grinder, and the sole lapped on plate glass with fine sand, from a children’s toy I seem to remember. The bolts are all Allen type because it is a new tool and I have not tried to pretend other wise. It works very well and well worth the time it took to make much admired by every one I show.
I do have the drawings still if any one fancies having a go I can pass them on. This was my first attempt at making a low angle block plane in S/S, it works well.

If you would like to contact Colin with questions about his planes, or if you would like to get drawings, please mail colinsllvn@btopenworld.com

Categories: Hand Tools

The Architect’s Chair – Part Five

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:34am
  I managed to complete the chair seat, the upper hub and support arms, when I returned to my Toronto shop and continued working on this project. Upon my arrival back to the city, I roughed out the legs to begin the lower joinery. With...
Categories: Hand Tools

Contest: Photo Fun with Calvin Cobb

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 4:00am

CalvinCobb_Jacket6If you’ve read “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” by Roy Underhill perhaps you’ve noticed the numbered “chapter spots” – the little images at the beginning of each chapter.

(If you haven’t yet read it, well, you should! It’s variously funny, poignant, thought-provoking and, of course, quintessentially Underhill-ian.)

Here’s the back story on those chapter spots: Christopher Schwarz and I were in Pittsboro, N.C., at The Woodwright’s School when Roy started hunting down vintage things with numbers on them, camera in hand. I tried to keep up with him, jotting down everything at which he pointed the lens. But who can keep up with Roy?! Not me.

Saturday, though, I got a list from Roy of all the items – so we thought we’d have a fun little contest with them.

In the comments, in order from 1-38, post your best guesses as to what each item is in the chapter spots (pictured in order below). The contest runs through 11:59 p.m., March 28 (this Saturday). That way, I have the weekend to go through them.

Whomever gets the most correct (or is the first to get them all correct) wins an autographed copy of “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!”, a Lost Art Press T-shirt (your choice of available offerings and sizes) and an autographed Roubo bookstand from Roy.

The person with the second most correct wins an autographed copy of “Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” and a Lost Art Press T-shirt.

Third prize is your choice of an autographed book or a Lost Art Press T-shirt.

And if there’s a tie for win, place or show, I can probably shake another set of applicable prizes out of the powers that be.

— Megan Fitzpatrick

CC01 CC02 CC03 CC04 CC05 CC06 CC07 CC08 CC09 CC10 CC11 CC12 CC13 CC14 CC15 CC16 CC17 CC18 CC19 CC20 CC21 CC22 CC23 CC24 CC25 CC26 CC27 CC28 CC29 CC30 CC31 CC32 CC33 CC34 CC35 CC36 CC37 CC38
Filed under: Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!
Categories: Hand Tools


Flying Shavings - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 2:36am


It’s all connected up you know.

Someone ‘liked’ my little Instagram picture of straw skepmaking in the Strid Bodgery.  Just an aside, I wish they’d used other words than ‘like’ and ‘friend’ on the Big Imaginary Tree of Knowledge.  The thumbs up is more like it.  Anyway, the liker (we don’t have friends on Instagram, but scary ‘followers’.  Just another quick aside, I do find it hard in my dotage to distinguish in my memory the difference between following and followers – who is following whom?) ahem, yes the liker was erthewoodworks.  Well she’s really known as Susan (much more friendly name!).  I had a look at her pictures and then her website.

Susan’s not been posting on her blog for long, but there is great potential so I’m adding her to my Netvibes dashboard.  She’s interested in old oak. Like Rivers Joinery and myself.  We should form a club of oakies, there seem to be few of us in the UK with a working interest in our carved oak heritage.  Any other UK oakies, please get in touch by a comment below.

OK the connection came from Susan’s blogroll (list of interesting twigs on The Tree (Bitok)) link to Tools and Trades History Society. As I examined the leaves on the TATHS twigs I fell upon an amazing resource:

This 1988 issue of the TATHS Journal contains an article by Ray Tabour on The Craft of Riving Wood.  The article is the best resource I’ve found on splitting or riving hazel rods.  Ray wrote the article from the knowledge of the remaining skilled workers.  Here is the prophetic end-piece:

“ln the last 40 years woods, woodmen and the craft of woodmanship have declined at a rate unparallelled in their 3,000 year history. Mass production has little place for variable raw materials whose variable conversion needs skill, judgement and adaptability. Another generation could see woodmanship consigned to the history book.

Of the three woodmen who have taught me their craft, and whose skills I have tried to reproduce faithfully here, only one is still at work in a Suffolk wood. One has since died, and the third retired, neither having been replaced by a younger man.”

There has been something of a revival in The Woods for example The Bill Hogarth Trust in the North West of England.  Only just in time though!  And the problem of skills ceasing with no replacement followers-on is being addressed by The Heritage Crafts Association. And it was the HCA selfiday on instagram with the tag #HCAworkspace for which I posted my own straw skep making instagram.

Related articles

Flying Shavings

Categories: Hand Tools

made a revision.....

Accidental Woodworker - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 1:16am
 Considering that this is do as I go, the phone cradle has gone well so far. Building the the prototype was a big help and that put the el grande mosaic in focus for me. I came across my first change tonight and it is something that I didn't see on the prototype. I consider this revision to be more of a cosmetic change than a design alteration.

hide glue banding is stuck on
ditto on the yellow glue one
I got a good bond on the both of these considering I just put the two pieces together. I can't pull the bandings off which is another plus. The banding is glued to mostly end grain on the dividers and the next time I do dividers I'll do them so there is long grain to glue to.

hide glue split off easily
yellow glue was marginally harder to split off
The hide glue took none of the dividers off nor left any of the bandings behind. The yellow glue took a few tiny slivers of the divider and left some bandings behind. In this respect neither of these was a good glue bond. I am still going to try and glue the bandings with hide glue. It's a trinket tray and it shouldn't be subjected to any abuse. I'm hoping that it'll be good enough for this.

the revision
This is actually the second change I made to the cradle. The first was putting the spreader at the bottom. The second one is filling the space beneath it.

 the back in place with the revision
without the revision and the back and bottom in place
This is the bottom of the sound chamber and it is sealed without the revision. This spot may be visible with no phone in the cradle. I like the look of it filled in and I also think it'll help with the sound. I have no basis for that other than it is giving me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

I glued the revision in with hide glue and set it to cook by the furnace. This little hiccup adds another day to the glue up sequence. All that is left is the sound hole board and the back/bottom. I am also thinking of applying the shellac to inside of the cradle before I glue the back and bottom on. That will add another day to glue up process.

sanding the tops
When I put the shellac on the dividers I put it on all 6 sides. I am not sure if hide glue will adhere to shellac and it is easy to do a quick sand and get to bare wood. I don't have to worry about that point anymore.

first side almost done
I had already cut and fitted these 3 pieces and I glued them in first. I had to use the tape to hold them down to the dividers. Even the short piece wasn't laying flat end to end.

I applied the hide glue with a small piece of scrap. I laid a thin even coat on the divider and the banding. I tired to be anal about how I spread it so when I taped it I would minimize any squeeze out. After I got it glued down I did a final check for square and set it aside to cook.

It took me a lot longer to do this one side than I thought it would take. I had planned on doing the other half too but I was a little frazzled after doing this one. Being careful eats up a lot minutes. I think tomorrow I'll be able to whack out a part of the second half.

I'll be able to assess how well the hide glue is doing it's job tomorrow too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Lord of Coventry?
answer - Lady Godiva

A Plane Review

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 5:24pm

Whenever I purchase used (pre-owned) tools, I go into the whole affair with a little reservation. Overall, I’ve been very lucky with my vintage tool purchasing, and I really only came across one clunker that was unworkable. Last week I ordered and received a E.C. Emmerich shoulder plane from Highland Woodworking. Though I had managed to pick up several tools over the past few months, this is the first new (as in not pre-owned) tool I’ve purchased in quite a while. I went with the Emmerich for several reasons, one being the company’s reputation, another being the cost was within my budget, and most importantly they offered the exact style of rabbet plane I was looking for. This was little bit of a gamble in the sense that there are several respected makers from whom I could have purchased a rabbet plane without reservation. E.C. Emmerich has a good reputation, but they are a bit of an enigma here in America. I had never seen one of their tools in person aside from a jointer plane which was in a case, and not touchable. Still, I took the chance, and I am extremely happy that I did.

E.C. Emmerich Rabbet plane. Note the large wedge.

E.C. Emmerich Rabbet plane. Note the large wedge.

When the plane arrived I inspected it and to the best of my judgment everything looked great at first look. The sole was flat and smooth, there were no dings or nicks, and the iron looked good. I planned on using the plane right out of the box, but at the last second I decided to give the iron the whole treatment. I flattened the back, starting with the “fine” grit on the diamond plate, then using the 1000/8000 waterstones. The back of the iron polished up nicely and very quickly, there is a very minor hollow which I left just as it was. I then honed the bevel using just the water stones. All in all it took less than 10 minutes, and it was an easy going 10 at that. I was impressed with the first honing, a good sign.

A crisp, clean rabbet. Note the strike point on the back of the plane.

A crisp, clean rabbet. Note the strike point on the back of the plane.

To give the plane a test run I started with a piece of scrap pine. I scored across the grain and proceeded to make a 1 inch wide rabbet. In what seemed like a matter of seconds I had a smooth and even rabbet, easily the nicest I ever produced with a hand tool. The shavings were neat and full width even though I set the depth of the iron just by feel. I then used the plane on the long grain of some walnut. The walnut dado was already started, as it is a piece of scrap I want to make into a screwdriver rack, so I didn’t need to score it. Once again the plane produced a nice, smooth bottom. At this point I am very impressed.

Here are some initial findings: The wedge is much larger/wider than a traditional wedge, which I find to be a very pleasant surprise. I don’t have hands the size of the incredible hulk, but they aren’t small either (nor are they as nimble as they used to be). I’ve always had a bit of trouble with the wedges on vintage wood planes and could never seem to get a good grip on them. The shape and size of the wedge on the Emmerich plane make it very easy to handle for those of us whose hands aren’t as dainty as the average person. The iron is also heavier than a vintage iron, which is pretty much common place on most new planes, but the tang is rounded at the top, which to me is smart, as it should help limit mushrooming/deforming of the tang from setting it with a hammer. And one of the more impressive features is the round metal strike plate at the back of the plane. I have never, ever, been a fan of striking the back of a wood plane with a hammer or mallet to retract the iron/ loosen the wedge, nor will I ever be. No matter what, when you strike a wood plane with a mallet you are damaging it and there is no way to get around it. I understand that it has been done that way for hundreds of years, but I would be willing to bet that many planes were damaged or broken in the process. The metal strike plate appears to be a simple solution to an age old problem. I’m not sure if it has ever been done before, but this is the first I’ve seen of it. Lastly, the plane is made of hornbeam, the same wood used in many chisel handles. I love the feel, and though I don’t necessarily like to use the term “warm” to describe it, that is exactly what it is, warm and comfortable in the hand.

Though I am less experienced with rabbet planes than I am with other woodworking tools, I like to think that I know a good tool when I use one. This plane is easily the best rabbet, or shoulder style plane I’ve ever used. After using it for just a few hours I am hooked, and during that time I could not find one single complaint. The plane is well made, comfortable, easy to adjust, and it works very well; I couldn’t be happier that I purchased it. This is among the best money I’ve ever spent on a woodworking tool, and only $100 at that, including shipping. E.C. Emmerich may not be as well known in America as other tool makers, but they have a new fan in me.

Categories: General Woodworking


Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator

by Dr. Radut