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|1/4" thick solid banding|
|it was going to hide the plywood edges|
|fixing my problem pin and tail corner|
|now the tails are seated in the pin sockets.|
|still a bit proud but not as bad|
|sizing the plywood bottom|
|perfect measuring stick|
|a little fussing and the bottom was fitted|
|making a test groove|
|thin web left|
|cleaned up the interior and now I'm ready to go to glue up|
|exit end of the lid groove|
|the entry end|
|small router won't fit|
|didn't move these two|
|what I should have done|
|no cutout look of the base|
|bookcase on my desk|
|glued up with hide glue|
|pit stop for some sheet rock work|
|needed a pattern|
|cleaned up with a rasp, spokeshave, and 120 grit sandpaper|
|handy biscuit gadget|
|I was able to get 3 #20 biscuits in the base|
|small reveal on the inside|
|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|
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|
|glad I saved the cutout waste|
|trying a fix|
|three 2x4 sheets of plywood|
Who was Danuta Rosani?
answer - he was the first Olympic athlete to be disqualified for taking drugs (1976 Montreal Olympics)
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.
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.
Filed under: Personal Favorites
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.
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…
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.
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.
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, …
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|
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.
|waste chopped out|
|off the saw|
The right side on the pin board is a bit proud and I'll have to look why that is.
|the back looks good|
|the left side too|
|flushing the bottom|
|x marks the bottom where the groove will go|
|depth and distance for the groove set|
|had to move the scrap|
|time to quit|
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
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.
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.
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|
|If I understand what Peter said|
|the biscuit joiner has to be set to the center of the end|
|the second biscuit cuts|
|practice piece of pine for centerline practice|
|set at 5/8"|
|red line is aligned with the centerline|
|tried to get the centerline with the spacer|
|I split it this time|
|the reveal is different|
|no light showing|
|almost forgot my new rule|
|the LN honing guide PITA|
|raised a burr on all 3 on my coarsest diamond stone|
|what a difference sharp makes|
|I'll do the pins tomorrow|
|something new to try|
|the bottom and top|
|found the lid|
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.
Who was Burleigh Grimes?
answer - A Hall of Frame MLB Pitcher who threw the last legal spitball in 1934
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.
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.
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
Believe it or not, I found the answer at my local comic book shop. . . .
Ratione et Passionis
In the beginning it was simple, like this tilt-top table/bench contraption:
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.
The hinges look seriously undersized yet it exists.
Now let’s engineer it and make it more complicated and harder to produce.
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:
Finally, the Arts & Crafts/Mission variation of this idea:
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.