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Nominal Lumber Knowledge

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sun, 10/01/2017 - 2:00am
2x4 nominal lumber

I don’t know exactly when I learned that a 2×4 isn’t 2″ x 4″, but I’m quite sure it was well before I joined the staff of Popular Woodworking. I studied English literature and journalism in college, and took one shop class in grade school that covered little more than basic turning – no construction. When I was a kid, I was busy playing soccer and bugging my mom to let […]

The post Nominal Lumber Knowledge appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Making an infill plane from scratch 9, rear infill.

Mulesaw - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 10:03pm
The front infill had a really nice and tight fit yesterday, but apparently the wood is not completely dry, because it has shrunk a bit since then. Not much, but I can clearly feel a difference in the fit. I hope it won't matter too much, but I usually have problems with wood expanding at our place, so it might just end up perfect at home.

To make the rear infill, I sawed out a piece of Bubinga and flattened one side that would serve as a reference for the lay out. This was the lower side of the infill.
Next one side was squared up and finally the last side was made parallel and square too.

Following this I marked out a 50 degrees angle on the forward part of the infill, which will eventually become the frog or bedding for the blade.
If I had had a protractor out here I would probably have used it, but I dont. So with the help of a bit of math and a tangent function I was able to do the job anyway.
After marking up I sawed close to the line with a hacksaw. The surface was then sanded completely flat going through the grits with the sand paper placed on a flat piece of thick aluminum plate.

The block of wood was placed inside the base of the plane and the contours of the side were marked on the wood with a pencil.
The block was removed and a hacksaw was again used to saw near the lines to remove the bulk of the waste.
After sawing, the block went back in, and the assembly was clamped in the vice and the wood was brought down to be flush with the sides using files and sandpaper.
Just like with the front tote, I left the rear infill a bit long. This will be trimmed of later.
Making a rear tote is the next part of the project.

Rear infill and front tote.

Rear infill seen from above.


Categories: Hand Tools

Wedges in multiple through-mortise-and-tenon joints

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 8:23pm
Wedges in multiple through-mortise-and-tenon joints
The usual directive is to flare the end grain mortise walls and wedge the tenons against those walls, as in the photo above. With the opposite configuration, which has the side grain mortise walls flared, there is reasonable concern that the wedges might exert pressure across the grain of the mortised board sufficient to split […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Nostalgia or No?

Paul Sellers - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 12:34pm

My working with hand tools has nothing to do with a reluctance toward living in a post modern world; just so you know. I’m just thankful I do, and that I feel to a balanced degree I’ve been able to embrace it. I always like seeing old workshops with wood leaning against rustic walls and […]

Read the full post Nostalgia or No? on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Farewell, old friend

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 11:26am

IMG_2262[1]

As woodworkers, we tend to think about trees most often in the context of wood. But a living tree is habitat, safe perch, shady spot, daily carbon dioxide sink, and more.

Trees also bear fruit. Until I moved to Indiana, persimmons were novelties: fat juicy globes with exotic names such as Fuyu and Hachiya. Then, one October, a boyfriend proposed a weekend paddle on Lake Monroe (yes, he’d made his own canoe) to a spot rich with persimmons. We filled a couple of shopping bags with squishy fruit and paddled back to the truck. He showed me how to make pulp and shared his grandmother’s recipe for pudding.

sept-2012-persimmon-milling-e1347832429672

Milling persimmons for pulp is a time-consuming process but well worthwhile.

When we pulled the glass dish out of the oven, the kitchen filled with sweet, spicy steam. We let the pudding sit a while to firm up while we whipped some cream. Slice, serve, dollop. Heaven.

Persimmon pudding

Somewhere on the texture spectrum between jello and brownies lies the traditional Midwestern treat persimmon pudding.

Much smaller than their Oriental cousins, our native persimmons are packed with nutrients: 127 kcal per 100 grams of raw fruit (compared to 70 kcal for the same amount of Japanese persimmon, Diospyros Kaki), 33.5 grams of carbohydrate (compared to 18.59), 0.8 grams of protein (versus 0.58), as well as higher than the Japanese persimmon in fat, calcium, and iron. I offer this comparison not as an exercise in nationalism, but to help explain why the peoples native to this land considered putchamin an important food.

sept-2012-persimmon

The fruit of Diospyros Virginiana, the persimmon native to eastern and Midwestern states, is generally considered unfit to eat until it has fallen on the ground. Bite into an unripe fruit and you’ll experience a serious tannin pucker.

+++

A couple of years after my first taste of persimmon pudding I was looking for an affordable property where I could have a workshop. The first place I visited fit the bill and came with a bonus: an old persimmon tree on the front lawn and a couple more on the fence line.

Fast-forward fourteen years. After feeding many a deer (and two of my dogs) and giving us fruit for countless puddings, the old tree in our front yard finally gave up the ghost last winter. We had plenty of advance notice: fewer leaves each spring, more limbs dropped per thunderstorm. Of course it’s not really gone: Persimmons spread through their roots to form groves. Several daughter trees are growing to maturity in the garden.

IMG_2263[1]

Two of the daughters took root next to each other, on opposite sides of the garden path. I’ll continue pruning them so that they’ll eventually form an arch.

A large dead tree in the front yard is hardly attractive. “Can we please cut it down?” I asked my husband last spring. I wasn’t asking for permission; he’s the one who uses a chainsaw. I’ll use industrial shop equipment any day, but chainsaws terrify me. “No,” he said; “it offers wild birds refuge from Louis [the shop cat].” Spring turned to summer, and concern for the birds’ safety turned into “Taking that tree down is going to be a huge project. Do you have any idea how much work it’s going to be, cleaning up those limbs?” Clearly not a job for the itchy, sweaty months. Now that fall is here (if tentatively), we’ll take it down and give some of the wood to our friend Max Monts to turn into bowls, because as many readers will already be aware, persimmon is related to ebony.–Nancy Hiller, author of Making Things Work

+++

Here’s that recipe.

grandma-dixons-pudding-recipe


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Customer Dovetails at EWS

David Barron Furniture - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 4:12am

A few of you may have spotted Ian on my stand demonstrating my guide while I took a much needed refuelling break. Whilst Ian is an experienced demonstrator, I did rather throw him in at the deep end, sorry about that!

Ian cuts all his dovetails freehand and is seen here demonstrating at a show back in Japan where he lives. And this is the result, a fine pile of 'Paul Sellers' boxes.
This reminds me I must try to think of something more imaginative than cutting endless single corners!

Here is Ian's freehand version of one of my corners, perfect!


Categories: Hand Tools

Braces & Drills with Ron Herman

360 WoodWorking - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 4:10am
Braces & Drills with Ron Herman

Ron Herman discusses woodworking braces, including terminology, sizes and chuck designs. Plus, he shares his take on hand-powered drills as he identifies a small assortment of tools still available at garage sales, flea markets and tool swaps.

Continue reading Braces & Drills with Ron Herman at 360 WoodWorking.

Simple and Fast Rabbeted Drawers: Hi, I’m David and I Break Things

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 3:00am

I wouldn’t call it reckless, but I tend to push, pull and slam things a little harder than I should. I’d like to blame my father who operated on an “I can fix anything” mentality that gave him the leeway to be overly rough while working on cars and around the house, but really, I just enjoy making loud noises and the efficiency of tossing things across the room. With […]

The post Simple and Fast Rabbeted Drawers: Hi, I’m David and I Break Things appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

saw donkeys pt VI (?).......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 09/30/2017 - 12:33am
This morning when I left for work it was rather nippy. I briefly thought about going back into the house and getting a jacket. But if I did that it would be too warm to wear when I quit work. It never ceases to amaze how quickly the weather can change. Yesterday warm and sweating in the shop and today it was cool and no sweating in the shop.

I got my time allotment in the shop tonight but there isn't a lot of pics. The verbiage will be matching the pic count too. The saw donkeys are moving along and I think I'll get them done this weekend. I made another change to them, no knock down. Being lighter and easier to move than my 4x4 donkeys, I'll have to put up with stowing as is. That is because I couldn't think of way to knock them down that I liked.


got the second mortise done
I had plenty of time left so I started in on the 3rd one.

ends are OTL
The ends on each succeeding mortise were worse then the one before. By the time I got to my third one, not only did they have humps, they were also slanted. I had done my ruler trick to check for a hump and after the third one I checked it with a square.  I got square on one side and a slant on the other even though the ruler said no hump. I assumed that no hump also equated to flat and square too.

got the remaining 3 done
I was going to stop after the 3rd one and do it tomorrow. But I had more the twenty minutes to go before quitting so I did it. I think in hindsight I should have waited because I rushed it and paid the piper.


yikes
I was trying to get the end flat, straight and square to the edges. I got the opposite one done ok but this is the one I rushed to finish. This isn't a loss as I can still get a tenon in here and make it secure. I am going to draw bore and pin this so that will make up for some of this slop. The cheeks are as good as the first one I did so I will get a good glue bond with that. So some good and some bad.

I'm using and changing this
This is what I was going to do instead of chopping the 4th mortise - make a new pattern.  I don't like the square top look of the uprights and this is the winning profile. I'll use this with a minor change, hence the need for a new pattern. The two flats on each side are history. They are magnets for chipping and breaking off and I don't like the look. The plan is to just spread out the profile above the flats out to the edges.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
It was the top rated variety show of all time and last aired on TV in 1971. What was it?
answer - the Ed Sullivan show

My favorite bandsaw blade

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 10:22pm
Supercut bandsaw blade
Readers of this blog know of my fondness for the bandsaw. More than almost any other tool in the shop, a fine quality bandsaw allows you to upgrade your range of designs and unlock the wonders of wood. With that in mind, here is my favorite bandsaw blade – the one that is almost always […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Not Exactly MGM…

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 7:09pm

Mrs. Barn calls it ADD, I call it Hyper-curiosity.  Whatever it is, it means that sometimes I have a tough time turning my brain off, which in turn has an ancillary side effect of insomnia.  And, an inability to concentrate fully when I’m watching a movie or such (tonight it’s an Eastwood bullet-fest — obviously Mrs. Barn is out of town) and I usually have a note pad nearby to capture my fragmented musings.  A few of these and I have an idea, a few ideas and I have  concept, and a concept usually turns into a project of some sort.

Here are some landmarks on the conceptual map that is taking shape for one possible future project for The Barn based on observations, whimsy, and experience.  Consider the following:

  1. I’ve had the amazing opportunity over a great career spanning almost five decades that enabled aggressive learning and allowed/required creative, interdisciplinary  problem solving
  2. I retired five years ago with plenty of fuel left in the tank.  Since then I’ve published three books (with at least five more manuscripts in the pipeline, maybe even as many as a dozen if I get back to writing fiction), filmed three videos, and created a unique exhibit.
  3. Now freed from the immediacy of most deadlines (I’m still writing a ton, but the deadlines of the Roubo and Studley books were imminent and the Studley exhibit deadline was inflexible) and recovered from two serious injuries, I can now let my mind wander and creative juices flow unfettered

4. I have a big barn in a beautiful setting and have been encouraged to organize workshops to pass on what I learned over the years.  Those who have attended the workshops give me great feedback about the experience and the setting.

5. But, most folks are unwilling to come to The Barn for workshops, for what ever reason; distance, remoteness, time, topic.  Last summer two of the four workshops I had scheduled were cancelled due to lack of interest, this year it was three of five scheduled workshops cancelled.  I will probably never cease offering them, maybe just a couple every summer, but it’s pretty clear workshops at The Barn are likely not a big part of the equation going forward..

6. I still enjoy greatly transmitting to willing learners the stuff taking up space between my ears and energizing my hands.

7. I go places to teach occasionally, but my aversion to travel makes this an unlikely major component of my future plans.  Plus, I generally expect hosts/classes to compensate me similarly to conservation clients, and that is a deal breaker a lot of the time.  Think of it as the intersection between Opportunity Costs and Comparative Advantage.

8. I am comfortable speaking to audiences, whether the audience is people or cameras.  I hope my previous videos confirm that self-assessment.

9. A talented (and eager) young videographer has returned home to the hills after honing his craft at college and in commercial work.  Given that about 39,614 guys are out there making woodworking videos, some with negative production value or informational organization, I’m thinking there may be some fertile territory for our collaboration given his expertise and my idiosyncratic interests.

10. The cavernous fourth floor of The Barn ( 18′ x 38′ with 17′ cathedral ceiling) served mostly as an attic for the past few years.

With those things simmering in the pot, I have decided to turn the fourth floor into a video studio.  Mostly that involved cleaning out the stuff being stored there, doing a bit of painting, and finishing the wiring.  If nothing comes of this, at least I got the attic cleaned, painted, and wired.

Stay tuned.

Tool Troubles? Get Thee to the Grinder

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 3:53pm

I’m always surprised by how many woodworkers – even experienced ones – try to avoid the grinder. They will purchase expensive diamond plates or (worse perhaps) a ream of belt sander paper and an expensive granite plates all to avoid stepping up to an electric or hand-cranked grinder. This is not just a fear among hand-tool users who avoid electricity. I’ve met guys who will use an unguarded shaper with […]

The post Tool Troubles? Get Thee to the Grinder appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Avoiding A Cloud Of Dulcimer Dust

Doug Berch - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 3:44pm


The joy of sanding dulcimers

Yes, another post about the joy of sanding dulcimers.

A while back I mentioned possibly making dulcimers without sanding someday. Someone took me up on it!

I made a dulcimer with a bare minimum of sanding. Scrapers and files accomplished about 90% of the surface preparation. Sandpaper was still needed to soften some edges, get a good surface on the fingerboard, and to clean up a few small messes.

I spent much more time and effort than usual burnishing the wood with cloth before applying the finish. The extensive burnishing combined with using fine abrasive pads while applying the finish produced a result nearly identical to what I carry out by hand sanding. The process took about the same amount of time as hand sanding but it was the first time I had tried this. I am hoping I will gain speed as I become more familiar with new technique.

The minimally sanded dulcimer did show a few imperfections and hand tool marks that would have been eliminated by further hand sanding but to my eye and hand they add to the charm of the dulcimer.

Still, it is not yet time to abandon lots of sanding on a regular basis.

In the photo you can see my warm weather dust cloud elimination system. A small fan blows dust away from the dulcimer (and the dulcimer maker) towards a window fan that blows the dust outside. This simple setup works surprisingly well.

During the colder months I replace the window fan with a home-made air-cleaner; a box fan with a furnace filter taped to one side.

And I do wear a dust mask!

On another topic; after doing some updates on my website something went wrong and about 10 years of photographs have dropped noticeably in quality. Something malfunctioned and over-optimized my photographs. This becomes painfully obvious when you click on an image and see it at a larger size.

I figured out how to avoid this on current photographs.

It’s just another adventure in being self-employed and learning to do everything myself!

Doug Berch - Dulcimer Maker And Musician

Categories: Luthiery

Avoiding A Cloud Of Dulcimer Dust

Doug Berch - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 3:44pm


The joy of sanding dulcimers

Yes, another post about the joy of sanding dulcimers.

A while back I mentioned possibly making dulcimers without sanding someday. Someone took me up on it!

I made a dulcimer with a bare minimum of sanding. Scrapers and files accomplished about 90% of the surface preparation. Sandpaper was still needed to soften some edges, get a good surface on the fingerboard, and to clean up a few small messes.

I spent much more time and effort than usual burnishing the wood with cloth before applying the finish. The extensive burnishing combined with using fine abrasive pads while applying the finish produced a result nearly identical to what I carry out by hand sanding. The process took about the same amount of time as hand sanding but it was the first time I had tried this. I am hoping I will gain speed as I become more familiar with new technique.

The minimally sanded dulcimer did show a few imperfections and hand tool marks that would have been eliminated by further hand sanding but to my eye and hand they add to the charm of the dulcimer.

Still, it is not yet time to abandon lots of sanding on a regular basis.

In the photo you can see my warm weather dust cloud elimination system. A small fan blows dust away from the dulcimer (and the dulcimer maker) towards a window fan that blows the dust outside. This simple setup works surprisingly well.

During the colder months I replace the window fan with a home-made air-cleaner; a box fan with a furnace filter taped to one side.

And I do wear a dust mask!

On another topic; after doing some updates on my website something went wrong and about 10 years of photographs have dropped noticeably in quality. Something malfunctioned and over-optimized my photographs. This becomes painfully obvious when you click on an image and see it at a larger size.

I figured out how to avoid this on current photographs.

It’s just another adventure in being self-employed and learning to do everything myself!

Doug Berch - Dulcimer Maker And Musician

Categories: Luthiery

Happy Friday, from Giant Cypress.

Giant Cypress - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 3:06pm


Happy Friday, from Giant Cypress.

Making an infill plane from scratch 8, front knob and wands

Mulesaw - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 2:55pm
There's not much to be said about the continuation of the build today except that it involved a little bit of filing, and a lot of sanding.
The sanding was done with grit 60 emery cloth, so the surface is not perfect yet, but like the base of the plane, there is no need to make a show surface and risk destroying it while riveting the plane together.
The front knob looks a bit big, but I think it is because the rest of the plane is not yet filled. I made it a bit longer than the base of the plane, so I'll have to trim that when it is riveted in place.

Now that I have gained a bit of experience with the Bubinga, I am going to try to make the aft infill and later the rear tote.

There was a discussion going on in the comment section of one of the earlier posts in this series regarding which type of wand that is best for a woodworker.

I am not saying that the wands from Olivanders' made out of ebony or holly with Phoenix feathers or griffins teeth etc. aren't good, but for woodworking my old time favourite is without any doubt pallet wood with a bit of hair from a Newfoundland dog.

If there should be any sorcerers amongst the readers of this blog, please feel free to comment on your personal favourite wand composition.

Front knob in place.

View from the other side.

Dipped in water to give a bit of shine.
Categories: Hand Tools

Shop Update 9/29/17: Announcement of Upcoming Events

The Renaissance Woodworker - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 10:39am

Some Live Events Coming in October

perch stoolLast January I built a bookcase live on my YouTube channel using Chris Schwarz’s book the Anarchist Design Book as my model. This October 14th I will be doing the same thing but following Chris’ lead again and building a staked piece of furniture. Or really I like to think of it as a Windsor Stool or often referred to as a Perch. That will start at noon on 10/14 and I’ll be as usual taking questions as I build.

Next Thursday, 10/5/17, at 6:30 PM EDT is RWW Live. Its another open Q&A opportunity to bring your questions about hand tools and hand tool techniques. I’m open to answer and demonstrate anything so I hope to see you there. I will also be starting up an Auction to benefit hurricane relief in partnership with Ernie Stephenson of Grandpaslittlefarm.com. Ernie will be putting up a fully restored Jack plane and 3 blade kit and a 3 blade kit for those who already have a Jack plane. I will be throwing in a semester of choice to the winning bidders as well.

New Lesson From The Hand Tool School Vault

If you have ever wondered or struggled with creating parallel edges or duplicate sized parts by hand then this 20 minute lesson may be just the trick to get you making your parts identical with a hand plane.
Categories: Hand Tools

Book Giveaway: Mackintosh Furniture

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 09/29/2017 - 9:00am
Mackintosh Furniture

This week I received advance copies of Michael Crow’s new “Mackintosh Furniture” book. Its a book of techniques and shop drawings to help you recreate 30 of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s furniture designs. Often remembered for his architecture and graphics, Mackintosh designed hundreds of pieces of furniture throughout his career. This is the first book of its kind dedicated solely to his furniture. Finally fans of Mackintosh’s work will have access […]

The post Book Giveaway: Mackintosh Furniture appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

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