Hand Tool Headlines
The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Walt Quadrato's battle against cancer! Their fundraising goal was met. Our prayers are with you, Walt!
These pictures were sent in to me by Ronan, of some tool boxes he acquired, starting with a large one above. They belonged to an ex Vauxhall worker who was a keen woodworking (and metal worker by the looks of things!)
Below is a late Norris A5 with the engine turning clearly visible on the sides.
This looks like a steel soled gunmetal shoulder plane by Slater, very nice.
Lots of nice cast steel chisels.
The two shots to finish with are of an engineers chest which like the others was also crammed full of tools. All in all a very good find.
Walking into my shop you can see what is important. A band saw sits near the door, rust accumulates on the table, the blade wrapped around the adjustment knob and a spider seeks its next meal. Across the room is a jointer covered in dust and rust from lack of use. The metal cold, lifeless.
Before you is a bench, not a Nicholson or Roubo, but a bench built by a teenager and his father, modified and strengthened to fit a new purpose. Looking to the right is a large chest unfinished, but inside tools stand oiled and sharp anticipating the next task. On the left a smaller chest immediately at hand. Beneath the lid sit planes needed each day wood is worked. In the first drawer, chisels, marking knives and measuring tools. The second drawer contains saws, R.Groves from the 1790’s and Bad Axe Tools from LaCrosse. Across the shop,diamond plates ready to sharpen, unfinished projects and lumber unworked.
As a new project begins I reach for specific tools, some I put to use, others give me a sense of place. The mortise gage with is curved edges fits carefully in my hand, the Stanley number 7 brings to mind the many lives it has touched over 125 years. The R. Groves saw shows the marks of several lifetimes work. These tools hold secrets that are out of my grasp, but they pull me in. As the metal passes through the wood fibers, the tools speak, the handles warm and their soul shines.
Why do certain tools have a soul, while others sit cold and lifeless?
Spending the weekend sharpening saws with the team at Bad Axe Tools I had time to reflect on the art and science of tool making. Years seeking knowledge past and present, months finding the best steel and components and hours of sharpening, all for the birth of a saw. Watching the team I learned the steps of assembly, the areas of caution, I saw the precise movement of hands and eyes seeking perfection. I began to realize that components are only a small part of the soul, the majority comes from the passion of the saw maker.
Walking into Bad Axe Tool works you sense that passion is in abundance. Listening to the team build saws I feel my responsibility grow. The responsibility of the saw user to assemble the last piece of soul. As the the saw is worked and furniture built. Hands wear the handle, files shape and sharpen the blade, coats of wax and oil seep into the back and handle, scratches and dings appear. The saw becomes experienced and the soul strengthens and grows. When the time is right, and the saw passed forward, the soul becomes the responsibility of another and another. My Bad Axe Tool Works 15 ppi dovetail saw….
Perhaps you should consider tools with soul……..
Because of the traveling and writing I do, I end up with tools I do not want or need. It makes me a little nuts.
Some of this is people who give me excess tools and say: “Find a needy student who could use this.” Others are tools that I purchase to write reviews, or because I need a tool while on the road, or to help someone out of a jam.
Many of these tools I’ll be giving away to students at my Hand Tool Immersion class at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking in 2015. But some of these tools are too specialized or exotic to put in the hands of a newbie.
And so I’m going to sell them off here on the blog starting tomorrow. I’ll post the mechanism for purchasing the tools tomorrow. Please do not e-mail me asking for a list of tools I’ll be selling (I don’t have time for that) or special treatment (that will only annoy me). Prices will be more than fair.
In the meantime, think about any excess tools that you own that could be doing good work in the hands of another woodworker. Whenever I visit tool collectors who have racks of user-grade tools, all I can think of is the unused potential gathering dust before me. To be sure, rare and oddball stuff is better off in a collection. But garden-variety bench planes should be on a bench somewhere (in my opinion).
If you want to purge your tools, consider selling them on one of the swap-n-sell areas on the woodworking discussion forums. Or there’s always eBay.
Once you pare your tools down to a good, basic set, you will find that taking care of your tools is easier because you have fewer. You will have a little extra money for wood, glue and finishing supplies. And the tools you sold will have a new home where they are used and appreciated.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Products We Sell
|Patrice Lejeune shows the inside of the top|
As I work my way to the end of each year, I tend to reflect on the past. I started my business in June of 1969 so each summer I pass that milestone, marking another year of self employment. However, the end of each year means I am another year older, and that is a more sobering thought.
At this stage in my life, many of my friends have retired. They often ask me "if" and "when" I expect to do the same. That thought never crosses my mind. My usual response is something like "When they pry the chisel from my cold dead hands." or something equally dramatic.
Why should I retire? I have a 5000 square foot "playground" which contains all the materials and tools I need to create anything I can dream up. All I need to do is find a photo or see an object and I can have it. I used to lecture a lot on antiques and fakes and one of points I would always make about fakes is that "if someone made it in the past, then it is possible for someone to make it again." Kind of like counterfeit money. No matter how clever they try to be, someone will be able to copy it.
Most professional woodworkers struggle to create original designs. I find that goal very difficult. I really don't think I have an original idea in my head about design. The problem with me is that I have worked on tens of thousands of antiques, visited hundreds of museums and read countless books, and my mind is packed with images. No matter how hard I try to create something, there is always an element of historical precedent which begins to appear.
I have the same problem trying to imagine creating an original piece of music. I mean, after all, there are only so many notes, chords and key signatures that exist. How in the world can you sit down and write something completely new without including some rhythm or sound that you heard before? I have the deepest respect for those who can do this. I spent many years of my life playing chamber music and sitting in orchestras, performing classical music. The best I could do was to play the notes well, and try to make some kind of music.
That is the same for me with my woodworking. The best I can do is to perform the piece well, and pay respect to the masters of the craft from the past centuries. I must admit that, after 45 years of practice, I have been able to achieve a modicum of success in that goal.
One aspect of my professional life which has been very helpful has been my relationship with ecole Boulle and Dr. Pierre Ramond, among others in Europe. Leaving San Diego and spending time and money in Paris really paid off, giving me the experience and confidence to take my work to the next level.
It also provided me with an opportunity to partner with Patrice Lejeune, who has worked with me for over 7 years now. We have a good working relationship, and each day we share the load, dividing up the activities according to each person's schedule. I am fortunate to have a business partner who completely understands both the operation of the business and the school and can contribute in areas which I am not as strong. Not to mention giving me a hand when the furniture needs to be put on the bench or in the truck.
The success of the Treasure Box series is a direct result of this partnership. The work we put into these boxes is as good as it gets and I am sure they will be regarded with deep appreciation and respect for many years to come.
As I have rather busy lately with other projects and not able to post on my blog much, I would like to direct you to visit the recent post by Patrice on Lumberjocks. His posts, which detail the actual work on the boxes, is more complete and includes photos of each stage of the work.
You can see that post here:Treasure Box II Progress (Use search box and type "inside of the box.")
We expect to be able to finish and deliver all 4 of these boxes early next year. At that time our cat, Gigi, will need to find another place to rest. She always seems to appreciate our work as well.
I’m spoiled. I’m in the enviable position of trying out new tools that come into Popular Woodworking. Sometimes I take them home for testing, if I’ve a project there where I’ll be better able to put a tool through its paces. (Ethics – as well as the need to take good pictures – dictate that I always return the tools right away.) Yesterday, I half took the day off. Yes, […]
Chris Schwarz and I have an informal agreement under which I sequester any of my pictures that he uses in his blog for about a year. It is informal in that we have never spoken of it. In fact, as far I can tell, we have never met. This is only partially due to an existing restraining order. I am not at liberty to discuss who requested the restraining order but do I strike you as the type of who squanders money on lawyers?
I just noticed that I took the Klint chairs out of the Flickr set of the local auction I shared yesterday. I remember pulling the pictures to let Chris write his blog about them and forgot to add them back in. I don’t think he ever published them all.
I know you want to see them so here they are:
Here’s Chris’s drawings from the blog.
You do not need a complete set of 11 chisels from the 1/8” up to the monster 2”-wide chisel. Sure, the part of you that also collects Hummel figurines really wants a complete set, but most of the chisel sizes will go unused – even if you are an active woodworker. Your work and your hands will eventually tell you which chisel sizes you really need at hand. That’s the […]
I thought I had all the fab work on the Chevalet done. It turns out there were a few details left to do. Nothing crazy, but so far it’s added up to probably five or six hours of little bits. The holes to mount the chain for the clamp actuator. Two spacer blocks that go between the seat assembly and the upright. Remaking the vise spring because it wasn’t right. The vise jaws. And etc, etc.
Nothing nuts, just stuff that needed to be made, tweaked, sanded, scraped or stared at.
All of those details are done now. Except for making a knob for the saw frame. That’s a lathe job, and I’ll knock that out tonight or tomorrow morning. But first I wanted to get a coat of finish on all of the parts I’ve made so far.
I mixed equal parts Mineral Spirits, Linseed Oil and Polyurethane, and slathered everything. It’s still soaking in the pictures, and after I hit “post” I’m going to go wipe it dry. I may put one more coat on tomorrow, but it’s a coin toss. I just wanted to bring out the color in the wood and give it a little protection.
Mission (mostly) accomplished.
I’m looking forward to starting a new project (W00T!)
In working on my project for the mid-December premier release of presentations for this new venture that is 360 WoodWorking (have you subscribed yet?), there have been tons of little tips that crossed my mind I want to share with the woodworking world. The problem is, there are too many to include in a single presentation. Many of the tips that crossed my mind during this build come from my days of teaching classes.
When I teach classes, I watch the students intently as I demonstrate a skill or technique. The reason I watch them so closely is to learn what things I take for granted that are new and eye-opening for them. Take the photo in this post, for example, this is a simple technique that I’ve used for years that is sure to grab someone in a class as being a game-changer.
There are two parts of a case being joined in the photo. Both are rabbeted along the back and, to line up the parts properly so that once I’ve finished dovetailing them together the surfaces of the rabbets line up perfectly, I need to make sure they are aligned when I transfer my pins to the tail board (the second tip in this post is “pins first”). I’ve tried all kinds of blocks clamped in place and funky rigs to try to line things up, but they were all awkward and ineffective. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
To ensure my parts are properly aligned, I grab a pencil (the same one I use to transfer the pins to the tailboard, in fact). Once I’ve lined the boards up by hand as good as I can, I scribble across the joint. It’s amazing how even the smallest misalignment is translated through the pencil to the fingertips. The lesson – don’t overthink or over-complicate things. This, I’ve found, is a good mantra for life in addition to woodworking.
well, I never really was a true monoculture anyway. But close. Mostly oak, lots of white pine, ash. some maple (mostly turned), but there’s even mention in the back pages of this blog of Spanish cedar, East Indian Rosewood, Atlantic white cedar – and the spoons are a range of woods that never include oak. That’s where you’ll see me use cherry and apple – not in furniture.
But my recent foray further into walnut is really out of this world, for me anyway. Riven, radial, high moisture content. Now I have run the gamut with this wood, from my first experience with that awful kiln-dried randomly sawn lousy stock, to air-dried straight-grained clear stuff – now to the true beast – riven radial stuff. Wow. Hewing it is so much fun I almost just chopped it all up just for the thrill. It’s going to be a joined stool, which I need like a hole in the head – but the book needs joined work that’s not oak. And…the walnut was a gift. Thanks, Michael D.
Here are the stool parts, planed. Why 5 aprons & only 3 stretchers? Because I had just a little bit of extra wood. This way, I’ll make the aprons. If all goes well, apron #5 will get chopped down to a stretcher. Something goes haywire, I make #5 an apron & return to the wood pile to hopefully scrounge a stretcher. Timid, I know. But I don’t usually have riven walnut around. This is New England, not the mid-west.
Part 3 of the “what happened to my monoculture” is really out of this world – this wood was like nothing I have ever seen. I got a sampling of it in the mail – to test it for a carving class. 11 1/2” wide quartersawn stuff – with over 360 growth rings!
Alaskan yellow cedar – is not a cedar and might be from British Columbia…but it is yellow. http://www.wood-database.com/lumber-identification/softwoods/alaskan-yellow-cedar/
I just could not wrap my head around the growth rate of this tree. Turns out as I read more about it, the tree grows for upwards of 1,000-1,500 years. That’s old. It’s a tree that has been in decline for 100 years, dying off due to climate change. Seems it’s so warm these days that the trees are freezing – sounds like Stephen Foster wrote the story of it. http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/research/climate-change/yellow-cedar/yellow-cedar_and_climate_change.pdf
We’re hopefully using this for the box class I’m teaching in Alaska next spring. Thanks to the guys up there for sending it down…
It carves very well, planes to a beautiful finish, except for some tearout difficulties. I’m mesmerized by it. Density is a bit softer than the black walnut; specific gravity is .42, as compared to the walnut at .51. I did much of the carving without the mallet. Once all the V-tool outlining was done, I used hand pressure for a great deal of this design.
But I have been working up some oak stock recently to replenish what I have used. I only have about 6 or 8 more of this crazy-wide oak panels to prep…the offset handle on this hatchet is especially useful when working wide stuff. this one’s 14” wide. That’s knuckle-scraping wide if you’re not careful.
Couple of spoons left, the bowls, etc. The wainscot chair video too – http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-more-december-2014/
over at Plymouth Craft – if you’re thinking of the spoon class, it’s about half-full now. So don’t delay… http://plymouthcraft.org/ (3PM – Eastern time, that website is having a problem. We’ll get on it, or it will fix itself miraculously…)
Here’s photograph of a viola that I’ve recently completed. It’s based on the famous ‘Conte Vitale’ by Andrea Guarneri.
My friend Andrew Bellis, who is both a bow maker and viola player, tried it out recently.
Here he plays the two bourées from Bach’s third cello suite.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I often keep a photographic record of instruments while I’m building them. However, the making of this viola was rather special because it was documented in a series of drawings and paintings by the Winchester artist Gill Robinson. I’ve shown a few of her drawings below. If you’d like to see the whole series, there’s a video here.
I thought that this might pique your interest no matter where you are in the world. Small businesses are important to every economy and we should keep pursuing a return of craft education into schools, alongside design and technology, but encourage educators and politicians to consider craft and art more deeply than ever before. I say this because these two spheres usually only respond to economic statistics and not the other aspects art and craft have on our wellbeing and welfare.
The post Oh My! Who Can Deny Small Businesses Are Highly Potent?? appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.
I have the Veritas dowel former, which is easy enough to use but the instructions blithely describe how to prepare the stock, which isn't so easy for quarter inch pegs. Especially in such thin pegs, it is extremely important to rive the stock so that the fibers are continuous through the length of the peg. As I learned by experiment, the strength difference between a commercial dowel and a riven peg is enormous. If the grain in your scrap is very straight and parallel to an edge, I suppose you could saw them out but I didn't have any like that. So, I would hold a piece of scrap about two inches long on the bench with one hand, set a chisel on top of it with the other hand, move my first hand away and split it. Kind of like splitting kindling. Obviously, things can get rickety and here was the result on the very last one:
I wasn't applying any force and just the weight of the sharp chisel did this when the little piece tipped over. Fortunately, nothing that CA glue couldn't fix. There are forty-eight pegs in this desk so riving the stock got boring and that probably contributed to the accident happening. Long story short, I was an idiot.
Having learned this completely unnecessary lesson, I was a little bit smarter this time. I just put a wooden handscrew on the bench and used it to hold the stock as I split out the pegs. Duh. Maybe there is a better way, but this prevented any further injuries.
Here is an excerpt from the Veritas instructions:
Take the time to hand plane the blank down to just slightly over the final diameter and then knock off the corners to form an octagon. To facilitate starting the blank in the plate, taper one end of the blank...OK, but this is a quarter of an inch. This time, after I split out the pieces, I just roughly whittled them to size and tapered an end. It worked fairly well, but I'd be really interested to know if any of you have a better approach. Too late, I recalled that Paul Sellers made an easy little jig to plane pieces of thin stock to a uniform thickness (basically runners on the sides for the plane with an indent in the middle the correct depth in which you place the stock) and, if I was going to make this many riven pegs again, I think that is what I would try.
Do you have a great woodworking story to tell? Do you like having a chance to get free stuff? I’m guessing the answer is “yes” to both questions. Your writing about woodworking could win you a copy of the four-volume set of “The Practical Woodworker” (a must-have foundation set of books for the woodworker interested in early 20th-century woodworking techniques, edited by Bernard Jones.) For the storytelling part, I am seeking submissions for our “End Grain” […]
ARTICLES FOUND IN THIS ISSUE:
AN ATMOSPHERIC INCUBATOR: HOW TO MAKE AND WORK IT
SHORT LESSONS IN WOOD-WORKING FOR AMATEURS
KNOTTING, SPLICING, AND WORKING CORDAGE
AN ARTISTS SKETCHING EASEL
THE WINTER CARE OF CYCLES
TRAMMELS: THEIR USES, AND HOW TO MAKE THEM
MAKING THE BEST OF A BAD HOUSE
OUR GUIDE TO GOOD THINGS
Disclaimer: Articles in Work describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.