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Shop Update for 1/13/17: Gearing Up for a Bookcase

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 01/13/2017 - 6:05am

Streaming Live, A Bookcase!

Several of The Hand Tool School community members have embarked on a group build of a bookcase taken from Christopher Schwarz’s Anarchist’s Design Book. So I figured I had better build along too. But since I hadn’t planned on this project, I figured I would have some fun with it and stream the build live via my YouTube channel. I imagine the whole build will take about 6 hours and I’ll be streaming for 3, 1 hour periods which should cover all the primary stuff and the repetition can go on off camera.

I will be posting the recordings of these live sessions here as well.

Live Build Schedule

  • Saturday, January 14th 11am – 12 pm eastern time: breaking down stock and making panels
  • Sunday, January 15th 11am – 12 pm eastern time: Dado and Groove Joinery
  • Monday, January 16th 12 pm – 1 pm eastern time: Assembly and Finish

Best laid plans right? We’ll see how I stick to this schedule

Categories: Hand Tools

Saddling My Horse

Hillbilly Daiku - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 8:07pm

Through a strange sequence of events and serious risk to my health and wellbeing, I was able to work at my shaving horse for several hours yesterday.  Sounds great and it was, but the back-of-my-front is pretty dang sore today.  I have a good bit of work yet to do at the horse so a remedy for comfort was now top priority.

Let me back up a bit.  A while back I built my shaving horse using Jeanie Alexander’s plans that can be found on the Greenwoodworking site.  I remember that the plans mentioned something about a sliding seat…I won’t need that.  I was waaaay wrong.  Way wrong!

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Straddling a board, for hours on end, takes a toll on the backside.  So I did a little research on my lunch hour today.  I wanted to see what the folks who make a living using a shaving horse do for a seat.  The general consensus is that you need one, it should be tilted forward slightly and cushy is a good thing.

As soon as I got home this evening I went straight to the shop to see what I could come up with.  My plan was to make a seat with two guide rails that would slide along the main beam of the horse.  I came up with a piece of plywood and a few bits of pine.  I sketched a simple seat shape on the plywood and went to work.

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To achieve a slight forward tilt, I planed a piece of pine into a wedge shape.

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I sawed the rough shape of the seat and refined the shape with a plane and sandpaper.

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Assembly was simple.  The wedge was glued and nailed in place.  The two 2x guide rails were glued and screwed.

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To get the cushy, I used the last bits of my upholstery foam and a piece of black vinyl.

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I have to say, it is very comfortable and I cant wait to put it to use.  To keep the seat from sliding when in use, I simply cut a small square of shelf liner to put between the seat and rail.  It locks the seat down solid.

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Anyway, just a quick little project and public service announcement. Saddle your horse, trust me!

Oh yeah, the risk to my health and wellbeing.  Yesterday the shop was cold and I was home alone, management was at work.  So I took it upon myself to move the whole shaving horse operation into the house on the nice warm sun porch.

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I did put down a couple pieces of ply to protect the carpet.  Anyway, management took it pretty well and working on the sun porch is now sanctioned.  Who woulda’ thunk it?

Greg Merritt


Categories: Hand Tools

Last two planes of 2016

Brese Plane - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 1:32pm

I completed the last two planes of 2016 in December. A Willie Davis style Winter Smoother with Olive wood. One of my favorite combination of materials.



The Olive wood in this plane is finished with a couple coats of shellac polish and then several coats of True Oil Finish. The Olive benefits color wise from the garnet shellac finish. It enhances the amber color of the wood. Olive being an oily wood needs to be sealed before the application of an oil finish, so the shellac serves a two fold purpose.


Hopefully the Tru Oil will help the durability of the finish. In a hand tool situation shellac has a reputation of not being very durable. Hopefully the addition of the oil will increase durability.




The final plane was a Winter Panel plane with a 440c stainless steel body and Macassar Ebony tote and knob.


In the past when I've combined Macassar Ebony with stainless or a steel bodied plane I've applied a patina'd finish to the brass. In this case the customer wanted the brass left to a satin sheen and finished with oil.




The finish on the wooden bits is True Oil. Macassar Ebony is not as oily as many exotics and therefore it takes the oil finish quite favorably and dries quite readily.



In preparation for the oil finish the surfaces are sanded to 400 grit and the first coats of oil are wet sanded into the material with the same 400 grit. The next coat is wet sanded with 600 grit. Subsequent coats are then steeled wooled between coats of finish. Once cured the surfaces are buffed to a nice satin sheen. The end results feels very nice in the hand.

This was the year in which we get all the kids and grandkids for Christmas celebrations. As soon as the last plane was completed I busied myself with preparations for their arrival. Fun and mayhem all at once. It was great?

January of 2017 has me turning my attention back to the bench project that I mentioned a couple post back.

Ron
Categories: Hand Tools

Book Review: The Woodworker, The Charles H. Hayward Years. 3 vols.

The Literary Workshop Blog - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 11:13am

High above my workbench, I keep the back-issues of a woodworking magazine I subscribe to.  It takes up about 8″ of shelf space, but it grows by a fraction of an inch as a new issue arrives each month.  Eventually I’ll have to cull the pile, saving issues with articles that I will want to reread and throwing out the rest.  Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody took the time to compile the really good articles, especially the ones covering essential tools and techniques, and reprinted them in a bound book?

That is exactly what Christopher Schwarz & co. at Lost Art Press have done with The Woodworker, a magazine published in Britain and edited by Charles H. Hayward from 1939 to 1967.

Hayward Book Set

I first met Hayward’s work back in my graduate school days.  When it came to woodworking, I was both ignorant and broke, so at the end of one school year I used some of my remaining printer pages to print out a bunch of old woodworking books, including Charles Hayward’s How to Make Woodwork Tools, from various archive websites.  I three-hole punched them and put them in binders.  It wasn’t an elegant solution, but it was the only affordable way to hold these classic books in my hands.

Now the bulk of Hayward’s work is available bound in these finely printed books.  These three volumes contain over 1,100 pages of instruction and information on woodworking, focusing almost exclusively on hand-work.  A fourth volume is coming out in February, and it will cover shop equipment and furniture styles.  Volume four will add over 300 more pages to the set, bringing the total number of pages to 1,500.  (The pages are numbered continuously across volumes.)   The set retails at $37-$45 per volume, though I expect that you’ll be able to order all four as a set once they’re all in print.  You can order them individually from the publisher here.

The volumes are organized by topic, although the fact that they are made up of hundreds of self-contained magazine articles means that the organization is somewhat loose.  Here’s what you can expect in each volume:

Volume 1: Tools

This volume of about 450 pages includes articles on sharpening, marking tools (such as squares and marking gauges), chisels, hand planes (both metal and wooden), and hand saws.  There are also short sections on turning and veneering.  The volume also includes articles on basic techniques like planing and sawing, as well as a number of articles on relief carving and letter carving.  The articles describe the notable characteristics of well-made tools, as well as typical modifications and repairs.

Hayward The Woodworker v1

The sheer scope of the information in volume 1 is overwhelming, though this volume is perhaps the most repetitive of the set.  If you’re already familiar and comfortable with your basic tool kit, you could skip this volume.  But I don’t recommend doing that.  There is enough detailed information here on effective tool use that it’s well worth the sticker price.

Volume 2: Techniques

In this volume of over 400 pages, there are articles describing a wide range of hand tool techniques that a well-equipped woodworker should know.  It covers everything from shooting board techniques and creative clamp use to drawer and door construction, moldings, and cabriole legs.  Want to know how cut a stopped rabbet?  It’s here.  How to fit a door?  It’s here too.  How to affix a table top to its base?  Yep, it’s here.  Which nails to use for which job?  That’s also covered.  Plowing a curved groove for inlay?  That, too.

Hayward The Woodworker v2

In volume 2, the superb illustrations alone are worth the cover price.  The articles are very well written and instructive, but you can learn a whole lot just by looking at the charts and illustrations.  I enjoyed just flipping through the volume and reading anything that caught my eye.  Just now, I happened upon instructions for making a replacement handle for a socket chisel without using a lathe.  It immediately solved a problem for me that I had always struggled with before.  Now why didn’t I think of doing it that way?!?  (No, I’m not going to tell you what it is.  Go buy the book yourself.  You cheapskate.)

Volume 3: Joinery

This volume contains nearly everything from the popular but long-out-of-print book Woodworking Joints by Charles Hayward.  According to the publisher, however, this is much more than just a reprint.  It not only contains virtually everything that the original Woodworking Joints book included, but also includes many other articles that were never reprinted.  The articles cover edge joints, mortise-and-tenon, rabbets and dadoes, lap and bridle joints, miters of all kinds, and of course dovetails.  I never knew there were so many variations on the lap joint.

Hayward The Woodworker v3

As with volume 2, you can learn a lot from volume 3 just by looking at the illustrations.  But don’t skip the articles themselves.  Every article has helpful tips that make hand work simpler and warn you away from common pitfalls.  Although this is by far the slimmest of the volumes (only about 270 pages), it is perhaps the most packed with information.  Solid joinery is a cornerstone of woodworking, but it is often the thing that hobby woodworkers struggle with the most.  If you are going to buy just one volume of the set, this is the one to get.

Every good book should have little surprises that reward the reader, and The Woodworker is no exception.  The editors not only include quite a few period advertisements, but they also reprint many of the original magazine headings, complete with volume numbers, issue numbers, dates, and decorative illustrations.

I have two cautions for readers just delving into these books.  First, remember that the period photography is often grainy and of little help in illustrating the articles.  Our woodworking magazines have accustomed us to sharp, close-up photography, but don’t expect that here.  What we get instead more than makes up for it.  The pages are covered with Hayward’s own crystal-clear line drawings, as well as numerous charts and illustrations.  On balance, I much prefer illustrations to even the best photographs when it comes to learning techniques from a book.

Second, because the volumes cover nearly thirty years of publication, there is a good deal of repetition early on.  In volume 1, for example, there are about ten different articles on sharpening chisels and plane irons, all of them saying much the same thing.  After a while, I began to wish that the editors had left a few of the more repetitive articles out.  These books are not intended to be read through from cover to cover, but to be browsed and sampled over months and (I expect) years.

Hayward Book Set

Also, I must say that the organization does not always make sense to me.  On a large scale, the articles are sorted into separate, topical volumes.  But on a closer look, some of the organization seems haphazard.  For example, letter-carving is covered in volume one, Tools, whereas the articles on assembling basic tool kits are in volume two, Techniques.  The tables of contents in both books is titled “Tools and Techniques.”  Perhaps there was no perfect way to organize such a mountain of information into a reference encyclopedia, and since the volumes are available for sale individually, it makes some sense that the information be spread out across volumes.  But it makes it difficult to use these as reference books.

I love the historical perspective that these volumes give me.  Woodworking in Britain changed more slowly than it did in America, especially after WWII, and while power tools do appear in the books, it is assumed that most work will still be done by hand.  The articles on sharpening indicate that most woodworkers did not even own a bench grinder–a situation I was in for many years.  Unlike a lot of writers in today’s woodworking magazine, these authors do not assume that every reader will have a wide array of well-tuned power tools and accessories.  Instead, they frequently give instructions for effective work-arounds.  There are whole articles in volume 2 on what to do when you don’t have a standard tool and can’t just go out and buy it.

As a professional teacher of writing, I especially appreciate the authors’ clear, direct writing style.  You won’t stumble over vague, cumbersome sentences when trying to understand a technique the author is describing.  There are a few new vocabulary words to learn (e.g. what we call “clamps,” the Brits call “cramps”), but the writing is exactly like the tools and joinery it describes: straightforward, robust, and effective.

When asked for a one-volume introduction to hand tools, I will continue to recommend Chris Schwarz’s The Anarchist’s Tool Chest, but when asked for a comprehensive guide to woodworking with hand tools, I will be recommending The Woodworker: The Charles H. Hayward Years.  

Volumes 1 & 2

Volume 3

Volume 4


First project of the year.

goatboy's woodshop - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 10:44am

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Nearly a year ago, not long after I had my lathe set up, I was looking around for a turning project, and I stumbled across some plans for a candlestick telephone. At the time, the project was far beyond my capabilities, so I only got as far as picking out the timber before shelving the idea until I had more practice under my belt.

Well, as 2017 arrived, I decided that I was proficient enough to give it a bash, so I dug out the timber, walnut I think, and set to work.

My design sticks fairly close to the original, but my shapes and dimensions are slightly different. This is due in part to some intentional design decisions on my part, as well as a few cock-ups unforseen design opportunities. All of the turned components are finished with Yorkshire Grit and Hampshire Sheen. The other wooden components just have the Hampshire sheen.

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I began with the base and the stem. The base looked a tad bulky, so I ended up making more of a sweeping round over after this picture was taken.

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The mouthpiece is made from two parts: the bowl and the cone. The bowl was turned first, with a recess that will accept a tenon on the cone. The recess also meant that I could flip it round and finish the bottom. I also bored a small hole in the bottom to accept a connector piece that will join it to the stem

I then turned the cone piece, forming the tenon first and checking for a tight fit with the bowl. I made another recess that would accept a brass disc later on. Then I could flip it round to hollow out the cone itself.

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Next came the receiver, which was again made in two parts: a ring cap and a cone. The ring cap was turned first, with two recesses – one to accept the cone, and another to accept another brass disc. Then I turned the cone, first creating a tenon for the ring cap, and then hollowing out and shaping before flipping it round, boring a hole for the cable and finishing the end.

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On the side of the stem I drilled a hole to accept the cradle. I then turned a matching tenon on a block of walnut before removing it from the lathe in order to shape it. I bored out the bulk of the waste and then broke out the saws, chisels, rasps, files and sandpaper. This part of the project was a real ball-ache.

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The wood working for this project was almost over. The only part left to make was the small connector piece that would join the mouthpiece to the stem. I turned a ball and small tenon on the lathe, then removed it and removed the sides of the ball to create a disc. I cut out a corresponding slice in the top of the stem and bored a small hole in both components to accept a small brass pin, so that the mouthpiece could pivot.

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Moving onto the brass components, I cut out some discs for the mouthpiece and receiver, and drilled some holes in them. I cut a small pin for the connector piece and then readied the brass plugs that would provide an interface between phone and cord. The plugs are small brass inserts for compression joints on small bore gas pipes. I hammered some walnut dowel into them and drilled a small hole to take the cord.

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With all the pieces complete, it was time for assembly. I decided to line the base with a piece of leather, which was spray mounted into position and attached with brass pins. I used a guide to help me position the pins evenly.

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And here we have it: The Candlestick Telephone. First project of 2017.

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Filed under: Projects, Woodturning Tagged: brass, leather, walnut

Chichester College Student Work

David Barron Furniture - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 10:31am

Chichester College students have been producing some fine work over the last few years and one of the students Ben, kindly sent me these photos of the first two projects he completed on his level 1 studies.


Christian Notley is the Head of Furniture Studies there and has managed to take students through to the World Skills.

A well executed and highly effective marquetry project, with a very clean French polish finish.


Categories: Hand Tools

Wall Shelf Build-Off – 360w360 E.214

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 01/12/2017 - 4:00am
Wall Shelf Build-Off – 360w360 E.214

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking the 360 guys talk about the Wall Shelf Build-Off from flairwoodworks.com.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

If you have topics you’d like to hear covered in future episodes, click here to send an email to the guys.

Continue reading Wall Shelf Build-Off – 360w360 E.214 at 360 WoodWorking.

Follow Me on Instagram

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 12:22pm
I am slowly dragging myself into the 21st century, I just reactivated my Instagram account.


Look for highcountrylutherie on Instagram for daily updates on what I am working on in my shop, mostly guitars, though I may post about something else.

I would put a "link to button" for Instagram on this blog, but the directions I found this morning on Blogger Help didn't work, and the websites that were suggested for add-ons, well, their platforms were for everything else but Blogger. Sigh. I need to hire a web designer.

I have a Facebook page, too, Wilson Burnham Guitars, but that really isn't much different than Instagram or this blog.

You won't find me on Twitter, I can't limit myself to just 140 characters because in college I studied creative writing with Bill Kittredge, Sandra Alcosser, Paul Zarsyski, William Pitt Root and the late Patricia Goedicke.

Now, back to work!
Categories: Luthiery

Greenwood and scythe course dates 2017

Steve Tomlin Crafts - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 7:55am
Ash splint basketry course 2017

What do you want to learn this year? Craft courses make fantastic presents or a wonderful mini-break for yourself.

Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Easiest Drawer Slide

360 WoodWorking - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 4:10am
Easiest Drawer Slide

I’ve built too many drawers to remember. Most of the drawer sides were from pine or poplar – I try to match my secondary woods to the region from which the original piece was built. If I’m copying a piece from a museum, or something that I’ve found on the World Wide Web, I generally have that information at hand. If that information is left to a guess, I have a rather simplistic rational for determining what species to use.

Continue reading Easiest Drawer Slide at 360 WoodWorking.

How To Grind Part 2 - The Technology of Grinding -, Grinders, and Grinding Wheels

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 4:00am


Part 1 is here.
These days when shopping for a grinder you have a huge number of choices. From $50 dry grinders from Asia to very expensive slow speed wet grinders with lots of attachments and everything in between. When I was studying woodworking (a long time ago) my teacher, who knew a lot about lots of stuff was scared of grinding. I think this is a common fear. We had a high speed grinder, with who knows what kind of wheel, no wheel dresser, and the fear of burning (overheating) the chisel was real. Burning was way to easy to do and the cure was grinding past the burn - which exposed you to the same issue only with a shorter chisel.

So many people are so scared of burning that they do all their rough work on very coarse diamond stones. This isn't totally off base either. In Japan having a grinding wheel on a jobsite was uncommon and working coarse grits on a stone was very common. In England (and the US I think) up until the invention of the small electric motor in the 1900's most people did not have ready access to a grinder. This especially applied to carpenters and joiners who worked on site. Saturday was the big day for hardware stores when craftsman took their tools to be ground if needed. Hand cranked grinders existed going back centuries but you need an established shop to work in and grinding wheel technology was natural stones which cut slowly - so it made sense to pay someone else to do it.

The revelation for me was when Barry Iles of Ashley Iles visited my shop. He needed to grind something, found my grinder, took all the guards, jigs, and thingies off it. Turned the grinder on, dressed the wheel, then touched the chisel he needed to grind on the wheel and was done 5 seconds later. I said "hey - can you teach me that" And he did, turning my entire fear of grinder away. It's not hard to learn. Actually it's pretty easy to learn.

Grinders
There are many factors involved in selecting a grinder.
Cost - that's pretty obvious. You can buy something that spins a grinding wheel for fifty bucks and it can work. As you work your way up the cost chain you get better materials, better motors, larger wheels, better bearings and more solid rests. Not to mention better customer service.

Wet or Dry
Professional grinders try to grind wet. This solves the cooling problem and you can grind fast. Until recently wet grinders were big complicated machines that were not designed for a home shop. In the past generation Tormak, a Swedish company, introduced a 10" grinder with a water bath for the wheel. Also available from Tormak are some of the best grinding jigs in the industry. It isn't an inexpensive piece of kit but the Tormak is very well made. My issue with the Tormak and all consumer wet grinders is that they are way too slow. The reason professionals grind on big wheels with a water spray is so that they can grind really really fast. The Tormak has a water bath (good) but it also turns really slowly and grinds really slowly (bad). As you get better at grinding the jigs are less and less useful.

Belt, Flat Grinder, or Wheel
Up until recently professional grinders all used large (4') grinding wheels but increasingly belt sanders of various sizes are also popular. A belt will run cooler, and you have a very large selection of grits. We have knife grinding equipment here and can easily hollow grind on a belt. However most less expensive equipment doesn't have that option and since one requirement of mine is being able to grind hollow, a belt sander isn't really a great choice for general woodworking tool sharpening. I have the same issue with flat grinding systems that use abrasive disks. In general they work slowly, I like a hollow grind, and I don't like having to replace disks. One point that should be mentioned. With some of the flat grinding system that use abrasive disks, and belt sanders (but to a lesser extent) you can not only rough grind but also polish. We power sharpen some carving tools on a Koch machine with uses paper wheels. Flat grinders can also polish but in general with a hollow grind I think hand honing is easier, less fussy, and faster.




How big a wheel
We stock two sizes of grinder: 6" and 8". 7" grinders had a certain vogue but currently there are fewer options for wheel selection. For normal woodworking a 6" grinder is all you need. You get a nice hollow grind, and the grinders aren't huge. Lots of turners however like an 8" grinder because the hollow is less and for some turning geometries a deep hollow is a disadvantage. An 8" grinder weight a lot more than the 6" which is great if you don't have to move it. My suggestion would be that unless you turn go with the 6".

How fast
The surface speed of a grinder is what dictates how fast we grind and at what speed. Many people recommend slow speed grinders - a 6" grinder running at 1800 RPM as a great way to avoid burning the steel (and it is). A 6" 3600 RPM runs twice as fast and grinds twice as fast, and by the end of this series you will be able to grind on it with no real risk of burning. We stock 8" 1800 RPM grinders which a surface speed between the 6" 1800 and 3600 machines. While faster (3600) grinders exist I don't recommend them, they grind very fast which can be an issue with heat, but also lots of the better 8" wheels aren't really designed for that speed.

Variable Speed
A couple of vendors offer variable speed grinders for sale. In general the top speed is slower than 3600 so what you end up with is a slow speed grinder that can go slower. In addition variable speed electronics are just not as reliable as a fixed speed. And why would you want to grind slower once you learn to grind faster. So I cannot recommend them.


Guards
With modern wheels there really isn't much of a risk of a wheel exploding. But an exposed wheel is always a hazard. A spinning wheel can grab a loose thread or hair, and rip off your arm or head. A trip and fall can have you grab out to a spinning wheel or have a tool ripped out of your hand with disastrous results. Baldor grinders, which we stock use heavy cast iron guards. That might be overkill but no matter what grinder you use make sure it has guards.

Eyeshields are also important to prevent flying debris. However even with shields always wear eye protection. Hopefully you will never need it. Over the years I have - more than once.

Dust collection
Grinders spit burnt steel and abrasive dust behind them. Some grinders (like the Baldor) have proper dust ports built it. Unless you have a dust collection system only for metal DO NOT connect your grinder to the dust collector. Metal sparks from burning steel and wood dust on a container are EXPLOSIVE.
My grinder is just far enough away from a wall so that it doesn't make to much of a mess.

Rests
We want a rock solid rest that won't move or flex during grinding. Some people clamp the tool in a jib and move the jig on a specially designed rest. If you plan to do the latter I suppose no rest is needed because you are going to replace it. Most rests that come with grinders are either cast iron or aluminum or bent sheet metal. Sheet metal sucks - it just bends under pressure. Cast aluminum is fine although it does get scratched from the abrasive dust. The grinders we stock have rock solid cast iron rests. These are by far my favorite. Solid, heavy, and no flex whatsoever. I think no matter what grinder you get if the rests aren't solid either buy an aftermarket rest or make something solid. It doesn't have to be complicated. I adjust my rest by getting it into the approximate correct position and tightening the clamps and then tapping it to final position. The method looks cludgy but works well.

Unlike a printed magazine which has page limits on a blog you can go on and on and on. Which it seems I have done here. On one side this is far more information that anyone actually needs, but I am trying to cover all the questions that I regularly get. As I have gone on at such length I think I will put "Grinding Wheel Chemistry and Nominclature" in part 3.

Hi Wilbur, can you describe how to deal with a kanna blade that is protruding unevenly as you fit to the dai? I have a couple kanna that I have been working on, and followed your instructions to fit the blade. In both cases, one corner protrudes from...

Giant Cypress - Wed, 01/11/2017 - 3:48am

There are two ways of dealing with this situation. As it turns out, one of my planes happens to have this situation. You can see that the left side of the blade protrudes a little more than the right, by the way the gap between the mouth and the edge of the blade gets wider as you go from left to right.

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The first way of dealing with this is to make a lateral adjustment, much like you would with the lateral adjustment lever on a Stanley. If we flip my plane over, the protruding part of the blade will now be on the right. A tap on the right side of the blade towards the left will even things out.

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If there isn’t enough room for the blade to move over, you can pare away the side of the groove on the left side that holds the plane to give you some space. This is more easily seen on my plane from an angle.

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It’s important to pare away the side of the groove, and not the top edge. Otherwise, the blade will become too loose.

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You should also pare away just enough wood to give the blade enough room to move laterally to account for the protrusion. Sneak up on it, like you did when fitting the blade to the bed of the dai. The gap between the sidewall and the blade when it’s in good position is only about 1/32″.

The second way of dealing with this situation is to mark the part of the blade that protrudes with a Sharpie or similar pen, grind away that part, and resharpen the blade. You don’t have to have the edge of the blade square to the sides of the blade. It’s more important that the edge is even with the leading edge of the mouth. But this is a lot more work once you’ve sharpened the blade well. That’s why I would rather give myself some more lateral room.

A George II Walnut Serpentine Chest – Part Two

Pegs and 'Tails - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 5:14pm
I don’t have historic patterns for this precise chest of drawers, so the first few hours of the job were absorbed in making patterns for the serpentine carcase and drawer fronts, cock-beading, serpentine base moulding and bracket feet. The individual … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

Cut the Cord: Build a Table with Hand Tools at Lie-Nielsen

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 2:06pm

What if you could build furniture efficiently without relying on power tools? Ever wish you could “cut the cord” completely, finally freeing yourself from the dust and scream of machines?

This summer I will be teaching a weekend workshop at Lie-Nielsen which lays the foundation of pre-industrial (read: efficient hand-tool-only) woodworking by building a small pine worktable with hand tools. The emphasis of the workshop is the rediscovery of the efficiencies of hand tool woodworking that have been lost since the industrialization of furniture making. Students will be able to examine and handle a few different disassembled 18th and 19th-century pieces to see period tolerances and the difference between “show” surfaces and “non-show” surfaces for themselves. Students will learn to process rough sawn boards with handsaws and hand planes and cut joinery in a period appropriate no-nonsense fashion. If you’ve been following along with M&T, you know what I’m talking about here.

Through the class, students will learn to design without measurements, build without machines, and assemble without clamps. The table features tapered legs, drawbored and hide-glued mortise & tenon joints and an optional dovetailed drawer for those interested.

If you have only tried your hand at hand-tool-only techniques, I invite you to join us June 17th and 18th to put these skills into practical use.

You can sign up for the class here: https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/150

I look forward to seeing you there!

 - Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

Cut the Cord: Build a Table with Hand Tools at Lie-Nielsen

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 2:06pm

What if you could build furniture efficiently without relying on power tools? Ever wish you could “cut the cord” completely, finally freeing yourself from the dust and scream of machines?

This summer I will be teaching a weekend workshop at Lie-Nielsen which lays the foundation of pre-industrial (read: efficient hand-tool-only) woodworking by building a small pine worktable with hand tools. The emphasis of the workshop is the rediscovery of the efficiencies of hand tool woodworking that have been lost since the industrialization of furniture making. Students will be able to examine and handle a few different disassembled 18th and 19th-century pieces to see period tolerances and the difference between “show” surfaces and “non-show” surfaces for themselves. Students will learn to process rough sawn boards with handsaws and hand planes and cut joinery in a period appropriate no-nonsense fashion. If you’ve been following along with M&T, you know what I’m talking about here.

Through the class, students will learn to design without measurements, build without machines, and assemble without clamps. The table features tapered legs, drawbored and hide-glued mortise & tenon joints and an optional dovetailed drawer for those interested.

If you have only tried your hand at hand-tool-only techniques, I invite you to join us June 17th and 18th to put these skills into practical use.

You can sign up for the class here: https://www.lie-nielsen.com/workshop/USA/150

I look forward to seeing you there!

 - Joshua

 

Categories: Hand Tools

13th Annual Woodturning Symposium

Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 11:56am
For more information see http://www.akwoodturners.org/ 2 Day Pyrography Class with Molly Winton   This class will focus upon learning tips and techniques for effective use of commercial woodburning units and pens, as well as learning to make home-made brands. I will supply 20 and 22 gauge nichrome wire; pattern books; reference books; and graphite paper. I will have my set of tools, a Burnmaster, and few commercial pens, home-made pens for use with brands, and a variety of home-made brands. We […]

One comment I often hear about Japanese tools is the relatively...

Giant Cypress - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 11:08am










One comment I often hear about Japanese tools is the relatively high cost of Japanese chisels, saws, and planes in comparison to their western counterparts. I think that this is not entirely accurate. Although you can find examples of crazy expensive Japanese tools, you can get a very nice new Japanese plane for around $225, which compares favorably to bench planes from Lie-Nielsen and Veritas. Handmade Japanese ryobas can be found for around $300, which works out to $150 per saw, as a ryoba is a rip and crosscut saw all rolled into one. That compares favorably to the boutique saw dealers, where a single saw can easily be over $200.

Which brings us to Japanese chisels. When a Japanese chisel is made, the hard layer takes up the entire bottom face of the chisel. Because of this, the entire blade of the chisel can be used. The three chisels in these pictures are all perfectly functional, and you can see the presence of the lamination line in each chisel, showing that the hard steel layer is still there. Old western chisels were also made with a hard steel layer laminated to a softer steel layer on top, but often the hard steel layer only covered about half of the blade of the chisel. Once you sharpened past that, you were left with a chisel-like object.

That makes Japanese chisels a great value for your woodworking tool dollar. Not bad considering that you can find a nice Japanese chisel for around $70.

(Photos from Junji Sugita.)

Sometimes it's the little things...

Oregon Woodworker - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 10:05am
Last week, my son's partner asked me to make her a stand for her tablet computer.  Because we were visiting them at the end of the week, I had less than a day to make it.

I had a scrap piece of walnut 8" wide so I cut off a piece 10" long, ripped a 2" piece off the edge and found a walnut dowel.  22.5 degrees seemed like the right viewing angle, so I cut the 2" piece in two at that angle and made shallow stopped dados in the back to receive them.  I glued the legs in place to hold them while I drilled through the face into the legs and then I inserted the dowels so they would serve as both loose tenons for the legs and a holder for the tablet.  I use dowels to hold up the electronic device so as to minimize interference with the speakers and connections along the bottom.  It worked out well to clamp the leg in a vise and drill through the face into the base:


In no time it was done:


A couple coats of oil and it was ready to go:


Here it is in use:


I am happy with this for several reasons.  I think this design works well and looks nice.  The design is very simple, takes little time to make and has only five pieces making it up.  There is elegance in simplicity.

Enough patting myself on the back.  As the saying goes, "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day."

Categories: Hand Tools

The Battleship

Northwest Woodworking - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 7:16am

It is difficult to describe the satisfaction I feel when completing a project. Particularly an overdue one. I am probably alone in this. But I have literally dozens of unfinished projects littering my shop. And yet, if I can take one from the dust and rubble of the floor and bring it to my bench, if I can turn the battleship, the slow Goliath, the mumbling giant that is my Concentration and get it pointed at this piece, if I stay the course and finish up the several hours or perhaps several days of work to complete this job, how good do I feel. How rewarding is this sense that I knocked another one down. It doesn’t take much. Just turning my focus around and pushing forward. Goodness me, what an accomplishment to get another job done.

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Categories: Hand Tools

Grain Orientation – 360w360 E.213

360 WoodWorking - Tue, 01/10/2017 - 4:00am
Grain Orientation – 360w360 E.213

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking the 360 guys discuss grain orientation in regards to joinery.

Join the guys twice each week for six lively minutes of discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more). Chuck & Glen, and sometimes a surprise guest, all have their own opinions. Sometimes they agree and sometimes they don’t, but the conversation is always information packed and lots of fun.

If you have topics you’d like to hear covered in future episodes, click here to send an email to the guys.

Continue reading Grain Orientation – 360w360 E.213 at 360 WoodWorking.

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