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everything but the kitchen sink.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 3:30am
I did a lot of different things today and it seemed like the only thing I didn't do was the kitchen sink. But the kitchen sink comes tomorrow. I'll be doing the cutout for it and maybe even the plumbing depending upon what is in the box. It's a two bowl sink so I'm hoping that at least the basket strainers come with it. Wish me luck on it because this will be my first one ever.

lumber haul
After OT today I went to Pepin Lumber to get some 1x12 stock to make my wife's bookcase. Pepin didn't have any 1x12s so I bought five 1x10s and one 1x4. Don't know why I bought the 1x4 other then it is rift sawn. I also decided by the time I got home that I wasn't gluing up boards to get the width I needed. By the time I quit the shop, three of the five boards had cupped. I'm sure that I'll be able to use these for something else.

1/4" thick solid banding
I bought several lengths of cherry and walnut 1/4" solid wood banding from Tico Vogt. I was going to use this on my work stand up desk.

it was going to hide the plywood edges
I am not using the plywood to make the desk. I want to use solid wood so I don't need the plywood nor the solid wood banding. None of this will go to waste but will be repurposed somewhere else.

fixing my problem pin and tail corner
Just a hint of a pencil line on the back side and it appears I missed some on the front.

now the tails are seated in the pin sockets.
still a bit proud but not as bad
sizing the plywood bottom
Found a small pine scrap that fits in the groove for the plywood bottom.

perfect measuring stick

a little fussing and the bottom was fitted
I was going to glue this up here and almost forgot to plow the groove for the sliding lid.

it's square
The plywood fits good in the groove all around. I like to use the plywood to help with squaring up the box. The plywood is dead nuts 90 at all four corners. Since it's plywood, I don't bother allowing for expansion and contraction. I still haven't been bit on the arse not doing that.

it fits
This is the iron I am using to plow the groove for the lid and I'm sharpening it before I use it. My 1/4" chisel won't fit in this but this iron which is thinner than a 1/4" does.

making a test groove
It took me 3 tries before I was happy with the test groove aligning where I wanted it on the box.

groove plowed
I went with straight through grooves. Manny likes walnut so I'll plug all the holes with that.

thin web left
I thought I had finally got the groove to be right on the edge but it wasn't so. I will make a shallow one pass rabbet on the bottom of the lid to compensate for this.

cleaned up the interior and now I'm ready to go to glue up
exit end of the lid groove
the entry end
I am sure glad that I checked this one last time before I started the glue up. My typical tapered cut and this would have cause a lot of problems come time to fit the lid.

small router won't fit
second hiccup
I usually leave the plow plane set up and I don't break it down until after I glue up. Today I had a mind fart and didn't do that. Now I have to set it back up to complete the tapered groove.

didn't move these two
The depth shoe and the iron are still set to what they were when I did the groove. I just have to set the fence and that was easy to do. Put the plane in the groove and slide the fence up to the edge and tighten it down.

what I should have done
The plane will stay set up while I glued the box up. Once it was glued I broke the plane down and stowed it.

no cutout look of the base
I like this look but it is an awfully long flat surface that has the potential to be off from it's mate slightly. Having four smaller bearing points is better and would be easier to correct for any rocking.

bookcase on my desk
I am going to copy this detail and use it on the walnut bookshelf.

glued up with hide glue
No need for clamps as the dovetails are snug enough to hold the box together as it set up. I set this aside until tomorrow. I roughed sized the with of the lid too and left the length long. I'll try to finish this tomorrow depending upon how the kitchen sink goes.

pit stop for some sheet rock work
My wife is fixing the holes that Manny had to make to do his electrical work last sunday. She needed two circles and 3 square and rectangular pieces. She is very good at patching these and has the patience of a saint doing it.

needed a pattern
I made a exact copy of the ash base in 1/4" plywood. I used the is draw my cutout ideas on and I then used it to trace it on the ash bases.

cleaned up with a rasp, spokeshave, and 120 grit sandpaper

handy biscuit gadget
This is the last thing I bought from Rockler about ten years ago. It will mark the center of #0, #10, and #20 biscuits and show the arc the saw blade cuts for each. That is what I was interested in here. I didn't want the saw slot blowing through at the front or the rear. I got it set so that was a 1/4" in from each end.

I was able to get 3 #20 biscuits in the base
small reveal on the inside
The reveal on the outside is wider and that is what I wanted. The one on the inside won't be see once the drawer goes in.

got my four smaller bearing points
checking the measurement scale - set at 1"
1" from the bottom of the fence to the center of the saw blade
cleaning up the outside of the ends
Once the base gets glued on it will be difficult to clean the them especially at the bottom. This is the first time that I have used walnut on a project and it is a nice wood to work. The grain on this is kicking my butt and laughing at me. The grain reverses on the left and the right side doesn't reverse but it won't clean up neither.

On the right side I tried the #3, the card scraper, the #80 scraper and got nowhere with them. The grain was fuzzy feeling after I used each one. I was making good shavings but the surface felt like sandpaper. The 220 grit sanding block I bought gave the best results and left a somewhat smooth surface.

Another thing the sanding block did was to highlight grain 'pockets'. It left areas where the grain looked rough but felt smooth. They were hollow areas and I used the card scraper to remove as much as I could. I had to be careful here because I didn't want scrape a bigger hollow trying to remove the grain problem.

glue ups suck
Gluing this up was a better torture than a water drip on your forehead every thought of being. I totally missed the bottom bases being tapered. I kept the cutoffs from the tapered tops and it was fun clamping the bases on without a cut off to help. I didn't have a lot of time to do this because I used yellow glue. I have never used hide glue on biscuits and I didn't want this to be my first time. This will be allowed to hog the bench until it has set up tomorrow.

glad I saved the cutout waste
trying a fix
The arm on my glasses broke. My backups are too strong to wear (my cataracts changed the prescription) . I can see close but anything greater than 5-6 feet is blurry. I went to the optical shop and ordered a couple of pairs of glasses but I won't get them for a couple of weeks. I am going to try and epoxy the arm back on. I got nothing to lose here and my fingers are crossed that it will work.

three 2x4 sheets of plywood
The plywood I had bought to use to make my computer desk at work will now be my wife's new bookcase. It will be 48" high, 30" wide, and 11" deep. Two of the cut up sheets will make the carcass and the last one will give up two shelves. I'll need one more sheet to make at least one more shelf and possibly two.

the carcass
This is going to be a tablesaw project. The bookcase will most likely get painted too. I will make the rabbets for the top, bottom, and back on the tablesaw and nail it together with my finish nailer.

This is the first piece of plywood I bought to make my stand up desk and it bowed. I am going to try and get a couple of shelves out of this hopefully. The plan is to glue and nail a piece of  rabbeted solid wood to the front and use that to take the bow out. Along with the weight of the books it should flatten it out and keep it that way.

1x10 pine
I think I can get all  the banding needed to cover all the plywood edges on the bookcase from this one board. If not I have four others awaiting their turn.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Danuta Rosani?
answer - he was the first Olympic athlete to be disqualified for taking drugs (1976 Montreal Olympics)

Pole Lathe Notes-1

Hillbilly Daiku - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 7:36pm

This will be a first in a series of ongoing post as I learn to use the spring pole lathe.  These posts will be mostly for my own journaling purposes, but it may prove useful to others as well.

When I finally made the decision to build a lathe, I agonized over which design to build.  I knew that I wanted a human-powered version though.  So the first major decision was spring pole or treadle? Ultimately I chose to build Roy Underhill’s version of a German double spring pole lathe due to its portability, simplicity of construction and the fact that it is a self-contained unit.  My build process of a modified version of Underhill’s original is covered in a five-part series beginning here.  Since Underhill still derives income (books, magazine articles, classes) and, as to my knowledge, has not made these plans free to the public, the series is just an overview of my build experience.  In short, I built a lathe.

Now I have to learn to use the thing.  Especially daunting since I have never used a lathe of any kind, human or electric powered.  Well, there was an attempt at building a lathe about twenty years ago that involved pallet wood, a garage door spring and, very nearly, severe property damage from launching said garage door spring when the cord broke.  Anyway, with this design of lathe I had a couple of concerns, the pivot arm and the loose foot board.

In every video I have watched of this style lathe in action the pivot arm looks to swing dangerously close the operators head.  It also looked like it may pose as a constant distraction in my peripheral vision.  I’m happy to report that neither concern was warranted.  When using the lathe I am blissfully unaware of the pivot arm.  Nor have I whacked myself in the head with it.

The loose foot/treadle board proved to be somewhat more problematic.  My findings don’t seem to be unique in this regard.  There are several folks who seem to have had the same experience and many creative solutions can be found on the internet.  The majority of which add a good bit of weight and are bulky.  Ultimately sacrificing a degree of portability and versatility.

The problem is keeping the thing in place during use.  In use you place your stationary foot at the pivoting end of the foot/treadle board and pump away with your other foot.  What I found is that the thing tends to walk away during use unless you have the perfect angle of push with your other foot.  I found it quite frustrating to chase the thing around.  I needed a simple way of keeping it in place.  Another issue was that the return was a bit sluggish no matter the tension on the springs.  This told me that the foot/treadle board was simply too heavy (see photo above).

Ultimately my solution ended up being quite simple.  The treadle/foot board was trimmed to a triangular shape.  This made it much lighter, but still stiff enough to do its job. To keep the thing from wandering around in use, I drilled a hole and tied a scrap of leather to the pivot end. In use, I can place my stationary foot on the leather and pin the foot/treadle board in place while still maintaining the ability to swing the end of the foot/treadle board left or right.  This allows me to adjust where the drive cord is riding on the workpiece as well as preserve the lathes portability.  Now I can concentrate on learning to turn.

There is a lot more to come.

Greg Merritt

Categories: Hand Tools

Gallery – D’Elia Antique Tool Museum

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 5:19pm

D'Elia Antique Tool Museum - ATTIC 2013

On May 5, 2013, I attended an event at the D’Elia Antique Tool Museum for the spring meeting of Antique Tools and Trades In Connecticut (ATTIC), a club dedicated to preserving the knowledge of the tools and trades of bygone times. This organization hosts two events per year at museums and historic sites related to CT industry.

The Museum is located in the town of Scotland Connecticut (population 1,726). The tool collection is housed in the Scotland Public Library, built in 2005 as a gift by collector Andrew D’Elia and his wife Anna Mae. The collection consists of approximately 1400 planes.

ATTIC members arrived at dawn to set up a small scale flea market. Somebody brought coffee and donuts. Most of the attendees have been active in the tool collecting community for decades. This event was special because the D’Elia Museum contains one of the largest public collections of patented American planes in the country.

There were several notable dealers in attendence. Martin J. Donnelly was there to promote his ‘Live Free or Die’ auctions in Nashua, NH. He had a table loaded with old auction catalogs and was handing them out to any takers. Jim Bode was there selling tools off the tailgate of his truck. The largest table belonged to Roger K. Smith of Athol Mass., renowned collector and author of Patented Transitional and Metallic Planes in America Vol 1 & 2.

I spent some time talking to Roger and examining his tools, including a pair of Cesar Chelor planes. I was given a free copy of his 2010 calendar ‘New Discoveries of American Patented Planes’.

Andrew D’Elia arrived later in the morning to unlock the building. ATTIC members held a small meeting in the library where they voted on which site to visit in the autumn and collected membership dues. They passed around mystery tools and announced recent discoveries. During this session each member was given a canvas gift bag containing informational packets about CT tool inventors, catalog reprints, brochures, a mug and some stationary. Then we all headed inside the museum to view the collection.

The planes are stored in custom built display cabinets with glass shelves, mirrored backs, and recessed lights. The stained glass windows of the museum were custom made to depict actual tools from the collection. The entire museum is a single 1000 sq. ft. room. You can read more about the details here. On several occasions Andy unlocked the display cabinets and brought tools out to his desk to be examined more closely by the visitors.

I did my best under the circumstances to take some photos of the cabinets. The extreme sun glare combined with all the glass and mirrors made things difficult to say the least. The gallery can be viewed here. The download link contains much higher resolution photos for those of you who would like to read the cards and see the fine details.

About 400 of the most important tools from the collection were professionally photographed for the book American Wood & Metal Planes. Copies of this book were for sale during the show. It is well worth the purchase.

At the time of the 2013 event the museum was open on weekend afternoons from June – September, and year round by appointment. Since that time the hours have been removed from the brochure. It is suggested that you contact the museum by email or telephone to arrange for a visit.

Because this museum is dedicated to rare patented planes, I thought I would offer a document from my own research on American plane patents. This is an unfinished piece that I compiled for reference. It has not been edited since 2012.

It contains hundreds of pages of plane related patents that are not available in sources like DATAMP or book lists. The document is 4557 pages in length and consists of image files only. Bookmarks are provided by year to help navigate the volume. It is 227 MB pdf so right click and “save as” to your device.

—Jeff Burks

Filed under: Personal Favorites
Categories: Hand Tools

Sawing Brass on the Tablesaw

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 4:04pm

I am clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, as a belated lesson today confirmed.  I have long used the table saw to make bigger pieces of brass and aluminum into smaller pieces for specific projects.

I needed to make some small square pieces of brass from the bar stock inventory I keep on hand.  In years past, and I mean many years, I would shroud myself in all kinds of protective gear from the waist up to diminish the discomfort of being blasted with tiny needle-like chips of metal being hurled my way at high speed.  Heavy apron, work jacket, leather gloves, full face mask, the whole works.

Suddenly in a flash of inspiration I arrived at the same point probably all of you discovered eons ago.

How about sawing the brass using a completely different set-up, with a sacrificial scrap on top of the work piece, and the saw blade teeth raised enough to cut the brass on the table but not so much as to cut through the waste scrap?

I gave it a try.  Perfect.  No shrapnel.  Zero.

That sound you heard around 4 o’clock was me smacking my forehead and berating myself in most graphic  terms for being so obtuse all these years.

Of course part of the blame was y’all’s since none of you told me this before.

spring cleaning pt 1

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 11:37am

we started spring cleaning here yesterday.  I spent the day in the back yard, burning the winter’s collection of brush/branches, etc. It’s a once-a-year chance to spend the entire day by the riverbank…with nothing to do but feed and watch a fire.

I saw lots of birds during the day’s fire. Didn’t get shots of most of them, but here’s a few. (I don’t know what this looks like on your end, but when I preview it, if I click on the photos, they get pretty large, makes them easier to see. sometimes 2 clicks.) There were ospreys around much of the day, but only briefly when I had a camera in my hands:

The cormorants were fishing; but they were quite skittish. Here they are high-tailing it away:

If I was sitting on the riverbank, the red-breasted mergansers paid no attention to me;

when I was standing they either went up the other side of the river, or flew off.

This week I have a few things coming up. Going out to answer a call “Do you want some wide red oak?” – pretty simple question to answer. So some log-splitting coming up. Then I have to plan out my demo/talk for Fine Woodworking Live  http://www.finewoodworkinglive.com/ – it’s my first time working with them. Looks like it will be quite an event.

thanks for all the support from those who have ordered the new videos. I really appreciate it. My setup was a bit clunky, but I went in & made it so those ordering both titles are only paying one shipping fee. I refunded any who got caught in the earlier “double-shipping” debacle. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/new-dvds-carved-oak-boxes-hewing-wooden-bowls-spring-2017/  I have some oak boxes underway, and some hewn bowls. I’ll shoot some of it soon & post some stuff here so any who have not seen the details can get an idea of what the fuss is about…

Pippy Oak Box with Houndstooth Dovetails

David Barron Furniture - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 10:10am

Martin from the UK sent me these pictures of a very nice box he made with pippy oak and a walnut lid. He used my 1:6 dovetail guide with the Gyokucho 372 saw, a great combination. It was made to store paints and is a very nice present. There are plenty of pictures to enjoy.

Categories: Hand Tools

big sash masur birch - Zapfensäge Maserbirke

Two Lawyers Toolworks - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 7:30am
Sash Saw masur birch 14" 11 Tpi Zapfensäge Maserbike 350mm, 11 tpi Pedderhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12692353908068506678noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Hand Tools

@Handworks 2017 – Roubo Print 239

The Barn on White Run - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 5:49am

Print 239, “Development of the Curves of Seat (Back) Twisted and Flared” is one of those bittersweet, paradoxical entities in my inventory of original First Edition L’art du Menuisier prints I will have for sale at Handworks.  On one hand it is a magnificent composition worthy of Edward Tufte, whose book on visual presentation of information sits well-used on my shelf.  Roubo crammed so much information on the page it is almost mind boggling.  It is in my mind nearly the equal of Minard’s famed print demonstrating Napolean’s March of 1812.

Typically Roubo would create a plate such that it left a margin of an inch or so all around the page.  Not so with Plate 239; he composed it all the way to the very edge of the page, making it utterly unique among the book’s illustrations.

Which brings me to an economist’s best friend, “the other hand.”  This idiosyncratic feature was lost on the barbarian who defaced the original First Edition from which my inventory derives.  The knuckledragger chopped a quarter inch off the top and bottom, alas rendering it a badly defaced artwork, although none of the visual presentation in the field is compromised.  That which remains is in excellent condition, but the key phrase is “that which remains.”  It is probably un-Christian of me to want to dig him up so I could whack him with the shovel.  May he rest in peace (and the entire artifact world said, “Amen.  At least he cannot damage any more.”)

The mutilation Print 239 suffered forces me to make it the lowest price of any Roubo print I will be offering.  Had that not occurred, it would have been among the highest priced.

This print was drawn and engraved by Roubo.  But our unknown malefactor chopped that information off the bottom of the page.


325sqft: Red oak end grain, no problem. Except sharpening a...

Giant Cypress - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 4:39am


Red oak end grain, no problem. Except sharpening a little more, but that’s not really a problem, right? #japanesetools #planemaking #nankinkanna #compassplane #nishikanna #205collaborative #greensboronc (at 205 Collaborative)

Phillip Fuentes doesn’t know you can’t use Japanese tools on hardwoods.

There’s No Tool Like An Old Tool

Paul Sellers - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 12:55am

  The saying goes that, “There is no fool like an old fool.” but it often seems to me it’s mostly in the negative vein of disparagingly criticising the elderly when they make mistakes or poor judgements. In a more positive vein, to counter the culture that espouses all new equipment as the progressive way forward, and, …

Read the full post There’s No Tool Like An Old Tool on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

pizza night......

Accidental Woodworker - Sat, 04/15/2017 - 12:49am
It was a tough choice to make tonight, whether to go out for fish 'n chips, or order in pizza. Since it was after 1700 we opted for pizza. The driving force for pizza was me being in my shop clothes and not wanting to change to go out. Driving in 1700 rush hour traffic wasn't in my top ten list of things I wanted to do neither.

Came to a stop on the walnut bookshelf. If the bookshelf is placed on the bases dry, it doesn't rock. I like the big solid look of the bases with out any cutouts. What I don't want to bet the ranch on is that  gluing the bases on to the ends won't introduce any twist or some other stupid wood trick that will throw it off kilter enough to make it rock. I will probably make a cutout but I'm going to sit on making that call for a day or two.

worked on the sliding lid box
 Laid out the tails on the pin board and sawed them out. I am good on sawing the top square and sawing on or off the line. What I am not doing so good on is the plumb cut. I follow the plumb for about a 1/3 of the way going down and then go off slightly off the line as I saw to the baseline. So far I have been going off the line into the waste.

I've been doing dovetails now for about 6 years and I have slowly gotten better and better doing them. I've had to address, train, and practice for other things that I wasn't doing right with them and I'll do the same with this. I tried to deal with only one issue at a time if I could and now sawing plumb is the next culprit.

I'm happy with my sawing of the tails and the half pins. My chiseling of the waste is ok but it's something that I can't be complacent about. Because that has a habit of biting me on the arse. Fixing the out of square plumb cuts is easy to do with a chisel, but I want to saw the pins plumb the first time.

batting next
I want to get into the habit of sharpening the tools I'll need to work with before hand. The far left chisel I did last night and I just stropped it tonight. The other two I sharpened, honed, and stropped tonight. I was able to raise a burr on the coarsest diamond stone on both chisels. I also checked for any light areas but I did not see any. The entire bevel was shiny on the both of them.

waste chopped out
I cleaned out the sockets and the moment of truth awaits.

off the saw
As many times as I have done this, I hope I never tire of it. There is something magical about this for me where sawing and chiseling different shapes come together and four of the six sides of a box are done.

The right side on the pin board is a bit proud and I'll have to look why that is.

I have a couple of tight pin/tail connections that are keeping the pin board from seating.

the back looks good
the left side too
I just have one corner to look at and fix on this.

flushing the bottom
Making the groove for the bottom is next and I need the bottom to be flush all around before I do that. One thing I want to try is making the groove first and then doing the tails and pins. Doing it on a shop box is a good one to try it out on.

x marks the bottom where the groove will go
Since I planed off all my reference marks, I lightly penciled in another set at the corners.

depth and distance for the groove set
I used to have a wooden fence on this that I need to fix or replace. It has a slight twist in it that I need to remove. I've been using the plow plane without it and I don't really miss it. I thought that having an auxiliary fence would make plowing grooves a lot easier. I don't see a big difference between having the fence and not having a fence. A fence does help keep the plane in line as you are starting and exiting but with a little extra attention I can do it sans the fence.

doubled up
The ends, and especially the front, are not wide enough to be caught in the dogs. By doubling them up I got enough hanging off the bench and still secure so I can plow the groove. I'll do the same for the long sides when their time comes.

had to move the scrap
I noticed the scrap bending after the end moved while I was trying to plow the groove. I moved the setup to what it is here. I finished plowing the grooves for both pieces without any more hiccups.

time to quit
I'll do the sides tomorrow and I should be able to get this glued and cooking too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Captain Hanson Gregory invented this. It has neither weight nor density and it can be seen but not felt. What did he invent?
answer - the donut hole

Firing Up the Hydropower

The Barn on White Run - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 3:55pm

Now that the last extended hard freezes are over for this winter past, we may still get a number of frosts, I decided to get the hydropower system up and running.  I walked the water line the other day all the way to the top, and am delighted to report that for the first winter since installing the system eight(!) years ago I had zero freeze damage to the line.  The amount had been diminishing every year as I was getting more knowledgeable about things, but this year there was none.

That is not to say that there was no damage to the water line over the winter.  There were two breaks to the line, both caused by falling trees.

With them repaired quickly from pipe inventory I bought a long time ago in anticipation that there would be ongoing maintenance and repair, I  waited for the pipe cement to harden then switched the valves and can now just barely hear the whine of the water turbine in the distant background.  One of my goals for this year is to make a properly massive turbine house to muffle the sound.

Interestingly, I had not missed the hydropower electricity at all as the solar panels were providing all I needed, including four hours on the power planer the other day.

Book Giveaway: The Practical Workshop

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 11:33am
Practical Workshop

Shop set up is always a popular topic of discussion among woodworkers. We have a book coming out in few weeks that covers exactly that. “The Practical Workshop” is a compilation of some of Popular Woodworking Magazine’s best articles on setting up a sensible shop with an efficient workflow. Whether you have a fully equipped shop or you make do with a tiny corner of the basement or garage, this book […]

The post Book Giveaway: The Practical Workshop appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

A Beckoning

Northwest Woodworking - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 9:13am

Spring beckons summer. It’s a tease is spring, a glimpse at the future. So too with our calendar. It has the promise of things to come for classes this summer. 

3 Simple Finishes will be a great three days exploring chemistry and alchemy. Basic finishes will of course be covered like oils, waxes, wiping varnishes, and the answer to all your finishing questions: shellac. But wait there’s also chemical stains, a little milk paint thrown in, and a dash of baking soda which produces a miraculous effect.

Hand Planes: Tuning & Using is a must have course. Learning to use a hand plane will change your life at the bench. Simple as that. They are more than throwbacks to a simpler time. They are time savers.

Building a Chippendale Chair with Jeff Miller is a huge opportunity to work with a great designer, author, and teacher. Jeff Miller wrote the book on Chair Design with a dozen options for building them. I am intrigued to see his tenoning jig in use. Join us for that week of chair building. Fun stuff.

Jeff Miller   Chip Chair Detail    Chippendale


Categories: Hand Tools

Video: Traditional Danish Soap Finish

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 5:07am

In this video excerpt from “No-Fear Chairmaking,” Christopher Schwarz shows you how to use soap flakes (or grated soap) and water to make two varieties of traditional Danish soap finish. This finish is fast and easy to make, there are no VOCs about which to worry, and it is quite easy to apply. Plus, you’ll walk away with cleaner hands than when you started… If you’re interested in the building […]

The post Video: Traditional Danish Soap Finish appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Slip Seats Don’t Have to be Uncomfortable

360 WoodWorking - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 4:10am
Slip Seats Don’t Have to be Uncomfortable

We have all sat upon those metal folding chairs with the a plywood insert covered with a thin piece of cheap foam and vinyl (Fig. 1). Most times we’ve gotten up wishing we hadn’t because those seats are so uncomfortable. It isn’t so bad if it is just a short visit.

Unfortunately, there are a great many uncomfortable dining, side and occasional chairs out there that leave us with a similar feeling.

Continue reading Slip Seats Don’t Have to be Uncomfortable at 360 WoodWorking.

Wilbur do you ever oil the dai? We oil everything else in our toolbox.... Love the blog.... Toni

Giant Cypress - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 3:18am

Thanks for reading, Toni, and for the nice comment! I really appreciate it.

I don’t oil my dai. I used to make sure that my plane blades were oiled (I have some camilla oil for this), but luckily my workshop is dry enough that rust really isn’t a problem, so I’ve stopped doing that.

I once bought a Japanese plane with an oiled dai from eBay. When it arrived, I found that the dai was a sticky mess, which didn’t help to convince me that oiling was a must-do item for my Japanese planes. This is not to say that there aren’t good reasons for oiling a dai. I just haven’t found it to be necessary.

thanx Peter......

Accidental Woodworker - Fri, 04/14/2017 - 12:20am
Biscuits will join the ends of the bookshelf to the bases. It isn't a simple matter of just plunging biscuits slots into the two. The bases are thicker than the ends so I have to account for that offset. Trying to figure out how to do it was giving me a headache. At this point in the game I didn't want to risk screwing up because I couldn't think this through spatially.

Peter left a comment explaining how to do it and although I didn't see it right away, I did after thinking about it. I was able to mentally picture doing it and it worked that way. I just have to figure out how to set the biscuit machine to the centerline of the ends. Thanx for the comment Peter and sharing the fix for all to read.

I have to make a copy of this but in solid wood
found a piece of ash
This is too good of a piece to use to practice making a biscuit slot. I'll just have to take my time and make sure I'm not in La-La Land when I do the deed.

If I understand what Peter said
The plywood is the reveal I want on the outboard face of the base.

the biscuit joiner has to be set to the center of the end
This is the unknown to me. I never read the instruction manual for this machine nor do I understand what the measurement scale is for on the side. Every time that I have used this I did it by eye and trial and error.

the second biscuit cuts
After the slots are done on the ends, the bases are next. Those are made without the plywood spacer.  This cut will be further into the base from the edge by the thickness of the plywood spacer. Exactly what I wanted to do but couldn't figure it out.

practice piece of pine for centerline practice
It is only 11/16" thick but I should be able to get close to the centerline.

set at 5/8"
I think I figured out what the measurement scale is for. It is the distance from the bottom of the fence to the center of the saw blade. I think. It looks like that is what it is indicating.

red line is aligned with the centerline
The measurement on the scale is a couple of frog hairs over 3/8". With the pine being less 3/4", I would expect it to be a few frog hairs shy of 3/8".

The pencil line is an eyeball line but I can the slot is a wee bit over the center.

tried to get the centerline with the spacer
I split it this time
Starting to gain some confidence that this will turn out to be no brainer to execute.

lines up
That pencil mark was made off the centerline from the pine and the plywood spacer. The slot from the biscuit joiner falls right on it. Next up is seeing how many biscuits to use to where and to put them.

the reveal is different
With the lines aligned, the reveal is off but I expected that. The pine is over a 1/8" thinner than the ends. The important thing is what Peter told me do works. I was able to step through it and at each step I understood what I was doing.  I know this will work.

no light showing
Sharpening my 1 1/2" butt chisel left the two top outside edges looking like they weren't sharpened. That indicated to me that maybe the diamond stones might be no longer flat across their width. I don't know how precise this is but no matter where or how I positioned the ruler, I never got any light at all under  it. Maybe I'm flexing the width of the chisel somehow as I sharpen it? I checked all 3 of the stones in the wooden base with the same results.

almost forgot my new rule
The chisels were cutting and since I only had a few to do I would have probably kept on going. I need these 3 to chop the tail waste so I'll sharpen and hone them first. Then I'll chop out the waste.

the LN honing guide PITA
My Ashley Iles 1/4 and 1/8 inch chisels will not fit in the 'standard' jaws. I have to change them out and put on the small tool jaws.

raised a burr on all 3 on my coarsest diamond stone
After the coarsest stone I went through my other 3 diamond stone finishing up on the 8K japanese stone. I stropped all 3 chisels before chopping the waste. I also checked the outside corners and I didn't see any light or unsharpened spots. I had a shine on the entire bevel.

what a difference sharp makes
I'll do the pins tomorrow
something new to try
I got this at Lowes or Home Depot this past weekend. It was about $4 for the pkg (with two pads) and I decided to give it a try.

the bottom and top
Of the six surfaces, only the two ends don't have any sanding stuff on them. I'm curious to how well the hexagons will sand without making a lot of dips and hollows. I guess the channels are where the no clogging claim comes from.

found the lid
I found it on the washing machine and I have no idea how it got there. I have a bad habit of using stock earmarked for a project as scrap for some immediate need at hand. Especially so if it gets separated from the herd. I don't stop to think that maybe it is for something else and when I find it out I'm usually very unhappy about it. I am trying to keep these all together so I don't do that here.

This box will be getting a plywood bottom and due to it's size I'm going with 1/4".  I won't be gluing it to the bottom but it will be set in a groove along the inside bottom edge. Haven't decided yet on making stopped grooves or plowing straight on through.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Who was Burleigh Grimes?
answer - A Hall of Frame MLB Pitcher who threw the last legal spitball in 1934

Do I Look Like A Guy With A Plan?

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 11:46pm
Please don't answer that. I already know. This post will catch several threads of my life and shop so hold on.

I just finished reading Nancy Hiller's "Making Things Work." (You don't need me to tell you what an entertaining read it is, there are plenty of bigger hitters out there giving the book lots of deserved sunshine)  It came into my hands at the perfect time. I don't take many commissions for work but over the winter came one I couldn't refuse. I pulled it off and the client was wonderful, but by the time I delivered the pieces I was tired.

Not physically, or really mentally. The word I have is spiritually exhausted. It was probably six weeks or a little more before I meaningfully stepped back into the shop to do anything. Still now I am only getting my sea legs back underneath me. The batteries were just depleted and took a while to charge, but it gave me time to think.

A dangerous pass time I know.

I know I'm not cut out to build furniture full time for other people. I knew that without Nancy's book. Still it leaves to question; What do I want from all this? Mostly I just want to answer the questions I have for myself instead of blindly trusting the words of others. If I could make a perfect career out of my shop time, it would involve experimenting, then writing and teaching about those experiments.

I'm guess I'm just a stubborn old viking who likes to steer his own longship tiller. 

If that's what I want, how do I move from here to there?

I've spent the last few months planning and working on some things adjacent to directly making sawdust.

Last summer I spent a week around Tom Fidgen as he taught a class at Mark Harrell's Bad Axe Saw Emporium. We spoke a little about his Unplugged Woodshop project and I was very impressed to see how much he accomplished combining video from his cell phone and a GoPro camera on a tripod. I enjoy shooting video but after I see what I've done a few months removed I dislike the unsophisticated production value.

So I also upgraded to some professional level video editing software.

I've only started playing with things and the software learning curve will take a bit to be efficient/proficient, but it's like learning any other new skill. You eat the elephant one bite at a time.

As a start I decided to create a quick introduction sequence for my videos, the results are embedded below. Being highly critical, the intro isn't more than 80% there, but it's an improvement. 

Other irons in the fire?

I am starting a production run of chests based on a six board style with a slant top and interior drawers. The plan is to build seven to eight of the same chest and keep close track of my time and work. I think there's an interesting article in this as you don't often hear about hand tools in a production situation and the implications. It doesn't seem like something up the alley of the Usual Suspect magazines though. We will see if I can entice any takers.

After the chest run I have to pick back up with building the furniture shown in the Morgan Bible. I've second guessed and delayed this project long enough. Abandoning it half done is not an option (I have my pride) I don't know if anyone will take it from me or if I will have to publish on my own. Either option is fine. The project is like a broken tooth in my mind that I'm always testing with my tongue.

The good news is the time has allowed me to decipher exactly what I'm trying to say with the book. Believe it or not the furniture itself has become support material for an argument promoting experimental archeology and the concept of finding things out for yourself through practical application over just reading what some joker writes in a book or on a blog.

Translation: If you really want to find out what it feels like to wear medieval armor you shouldn't just read what Dr. Blabberblaster has written in his dissertation reviewing the existing literature of the weight of armor in correlated medieval grave finds. You should go find some chain-maile and strap it on. Not that aluminum Hollywood shit either, find the real steel stuff as close to accurate as possible.

Then go figure out how to move, run, and fight in it. Spend all day wearing it. Figure out how to take it off. The experience yields such a broader understanding

The third iron is a longer game and the threads are only starting to weave together. For a long time I've been frustrated with much woodworking media, (including my efforts) and its masturbatory nature. In essence most spends it's work on preaching to the already converted, but I've wanted to find a way to bring the good word to others. Missionary woodworking to bring more bodies into the flock. If it works then it may go farther to support that "Experiment, write, and teach," dream I seem to be chasing.

Believe it or not, I found the answer at my local comic book shop. . . .

Stay tuned

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

In The Beginning It Was Simple…

The Furniture Record - Thu, 04/13/2017 - 11:05pm

In the beginning it was simple, like this tilt-top table/bench contraption:


The simple tilt-top table.


Looks simple.

It’s a convertible table/bench. The top pivots around the rear pins and is locked in down position by the front pins. It should be symmetrical and the top should be able to hinge around the front pins.

Typically, there is storage in the base.

Let’s make it more complicated.


No pins in the rear, hinges.


No indication there ever were any pins in the rear of the table/bench. This is the design and not a repair.

The hinges look seriously undersized yet it exists.

Now let’s engineer it and make it more complicated and harder to produce.


Same basic idea but the folding top sits lower.


The table top pivots and tracks about a bolt and slots in the battens.


The table is locked in the down position by the engagement of another slot in the batten around a pin.

This base also has storage.

Another difference is that this unit has 2X4 legs and not sides made from boards.

The only advantage of this construction I can see is that the table top sits lower in the bench position. This could be useful if you need the wall space for your art collection:


Margaret Keane’s classic No Dogs Allowed. Art like no other.

Finally, the Arts & Crafts/Mission variation of this idea:


Everything’s better in oak.

Here, the top pivots around bolts with vertical movement provided by slots on the supports. For added stability, the “feet” on the supports rest in cups on the seat.

Many ways to achieve the same goal.


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