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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...


Welcome and Hello.

The Workbench Diary - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:57pm
Every once in a while it’s good to say hello to new readers. Since the past few months I've noticed an increase in traffic here on the blog now’s as good a time as any. I often continue on in my posts as if everyone has been here since the beginning. Because this is obviously not the case I thought I should introduce myself again and tell about what I have going on here...

My name is Joshua Klein. I am a furniture conservator in private practice in the coastal town of Sedgwick, Maine. I got into this profession by first studying luthiery in Red Wing, MN. After that I attended The National Institute of Wood Finishing where I sat under the sagacity of Mitch Kohanek. Even though I knew I ultimately wanted to work on historic furniture, I took a job for a short stint in Nashville, TN at a custom guitar shop. I was the finisher for this small company. It was fun but as soon as my wife, Julia, and I had our first baby on the way, we decided to head back to where we wanted to plant our family: the Maine coast.

We moved up and had our first little boy, Eden. After we got our feet under us a bit, I started my furniture restoration business full time. Since the beginning my focus has been on developing a conservation methodology in practice. I use this blog to post quick how to’s, treatment reports, period woodworking methods, meditations on craft, etc. I also have been sharing about my research into Jonathan Fisher, an early 19th century cabinetmaker from Blue Hill, ME. Since I am currently working on the manuscript for a book about him fruit from that work appears on the blog every so often.

We live a homesteading lifestyle so I occasionally include snippets about our chickens, goats, building our outdoor mud oven, splitting firewood, etc.

You will see a “Search This Blog” bar on right hand side of the blog for your surfing convenience. Right below that, you can subscribe or follow by email. Sign up and you’ll get notices when I post something new. Lastly, you will notice the extensive blogroll in that right column. These are the numerous blogs I follow. The list is organized by most recent post. I have friends that come here to see what’s new on my blogroll. I check it everyday and have found it handy.  Feel free to stop in and check out what’s new in the handtool woodworking blogosphere.

Welcome to my blog, new friends. Feel free to leave comments. That just fuels the fire here. The more feedback I get, the more end up posting. Thanks for coming. Enjoy.

Klein Furniture Restoration from Mathias Reed Visuals on Vimeo.
Categories: Hand Tools

Ronghakane i Møre og Romsdal

Høvelbenk - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 4:17pm
Ronghake og høvelbenk frå snikkarverkstaden til Hans O. Aas i Kjellbotnen / Skorgedalen i Vestnes kommune. Foto: Peter BrennvikRonghake og høvelbenk frå snikkarverkstaden til Hans O. Aas i Kjellbotnen / Skorgedalen i Vestnes kommune. Foto: Peter Brennvik

Eg har tidlegare skrive om ein original ronghake som finnast på garden Ullaland i Volda. Det er også påfallande mykje informasjon om ronghakar i svara på spørjelista om snikkarhandverket som eg har skrive ein artikkel om i haust. For ikkje å snakke om den flotte ronghaken og tilhøyrande høvelbenk på Romsdalsmuseet i Molde som Peter Brennvik og Øyvind Vestad har tipsa meg om. Frå at dette fenomenet har vore heilt fråverande i skrift om snikkarhandverket i Noreg til desse oppdagingane synast eg at vi hadde kome langt på kort tid. No viser det seg at dette truleg berre er starten på noko enda større. Peter har vore aktiv og gjort undersøkingar rundt på gardane i sine heimtrakter og rapportert vidare til meg slik at eg kan dele oppdagingane her på bloggen.

 Peter Brennvik  Peter Brennvik  Peter Brennvik

Den fyste oppdaginga er høvelbenken frå Skakketeigen i Molde. Benken har to ulike typar hol for ronghake 1″ og ¾”. Her er ikkje ronghaken bevart saman med benken. Han kan likvel dukke opp seinare. Peter har oppdaga nokre lause ronghakar på i lokale snikkarverkstader. Hakane har han posta om på Instagram : http://instagram.com/bassdummy

 Peter Brennvik  Peter Brennvik  Peter Brennvik

Desse hakane er eg usikker på om kan knytast til ein lokal høvelbenk der dei har vore i bruk. Det an dukke opp meir informasjon om desse seinare.  Det siste er ein høvelbenk med ein fin smidd ronghake i. Denne minner veldig om ronghaken på Romsdalsmuseet.

Ronghake og høvelbenk frå snikkarverkstaden til Hans O. Aas i Kjellbotnen / Skorgedalen i Vestnes kommune. Foto: Peter Brennvik Ronghake og høvelbenk frå snikkarverkstaden til Hans O. Aas i Kjellbotnen / Skorgedalen i Vestnes kommune. Foto: Peter Brennvik Ronghake og høvelbenk frå snikkarverkstaden til Hans O. Aas i Kjellbotnen / Skorgedalen i Vestnes kommune. Foto: Peter Brennvik

Til saman vitnar desse funna om at ronghaken og bruken av den har vore utbreidd i dette området av Møre og Romsdal. Det kan vere god grunn til å leite vidare i desse områda for å finne meir om høvelbenkane og korleis ronghakane har vore brukt.  I samaband med arbeidet med skriving av artikkelen min om kjellingfot og ronghake undersøkte eg utbreiinga av ulike nemningar på benkehake, det som vert nytta som høvelstopp. I Møre og Romsdal verkar det som om nemninga benkehake var brukt om denne haken som Peter har sendt meg bilete av, ronghaken eller kjellingfot. Høvelstoppen er i staden kalla klobit, kam,  høvelbit, klo eller dobbe. Når ein i spørjelista om snikkarhandverket har spurt etter lokale nemningar på benkehake så er det ikkje sjølvsagt at ein då meiner høvelstopp. Mange av svara tyder nettopp på at dei fleste forstår benkehake som det same som ronghake. Eit tydeleg døme på det er svaret frå Endre J. Korndal i Øksendal som har skrive “dei brukte benkehake” og har teikna ein hake som minner svært om ronghaken på bilete over. To av hakane Peter har funne er frå Tresfjord. Nettopp frå Tresfjord har vi dokumentert nemninga “ronghake” i svaret frå Hans Skeidsvoll. Her skriv han “for lange stykkje bruktest ronghake og bit”. Då er det grunnlag for å bruke “bit” eller “høvelbit” som nemningar på høvelstoppen i dette området, noko eg kjem attende til her på bloggen. (Renmælmo 2014) Ei stor takk til Peter som har gjort desse viktige oppdagingane og deler dei med oss. Frå at vi hadde nemninga ronghake med forklaring, har vi no fleire konkrete hakar frå same område. Dei flotte bevarte hakane har detaljar som er viktige for at smedane skal finne fram til smiteknikk, materiale og dimensjon. Dette er igjen viktig for at vi skal få laga funksjonelle hakar.


Arkivert under:Killingfot / hallfast / ronghake
Categories: Hand Tools

A Mixed Day of Bench Banter and Creativity

Paul Sellers - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 2:30pm

DSC_0148The greatest progress often comes in the face of adversity and without pressure we cannot grow. I demonstrate the steps that need my input to pave the way for everyone as they progress into realms of becoming skilled and I see things I see as growth when others think that have stayed the same. Now the students go to the tools and work the wood with much less conscious effort even though they have uncertainty as to the outcome. The tools, sharp and repeatedly sharpened follow simple and basic patterns yet the basics makes the all the big difference. More than that though, most of the work brings unquantifiable reward, especially when the box lid closes with its unique clunk and you step back into your space and simply stare.

DSC_0268Friendships form and breaks in silence  usually start with a joke about the intensity of concentrations beyond screens and keyboards. The difference is remarkable of course. Who could ever compare touching keys on a key board with the keys of a piano or the key sounds of planes on wood and saws separating waste from wanted wood? Of course one produces present and emerging reality and the other images of the past only. Banter creeps generously between benches and between bouts of dedicated intent to plane the wood and make the joints a tight fit. DSC_0272Phil jumps in to help throughout the day with good advice and so too John who now knows more than I do about hand tools and sharpening and restoring them for future use in Patagonia. Here John has done an exceptional job restoring yet another handsaw. DSC_0152I feel a certain pride in what we are all doing because somehow it validates what I once could only dreamed of. Making woodworkers is as much a creative process as making furniture pieces or musical instruments or canoes and boats. You must have a plan and something to work to but when I started teaching I had no patterns to really follow. When I began teaching it was because people kept asking me if they could learn from me in a class. DSC_0073For a few years I just said no every time and then one day I said OK. I would teach just one one-day class. The result wasn’t to give up making and wear fancy designer work clothes emblazoned with DeWalt and Makita or Bosch and sit on a pedestal but to keep making and add another eight hours a day to my already busy schedule as a maker. One thing that has proven itself time and time again is working with the video team to make over 250 videos to use as a teaching medium for woodworkers around the world. In spite of that I am still a maker and design my work around the added things I do. As I said, without pressure we simply do not grow and without adversity character is rarely formed. DSC_0260 DSC_0239It’s no wonder advertising companies contact us daily to ask us to ‘partner’ with them. These online advertisement companies and promoters promise to screen advertisers to make certain their product falls in line with my work online. The emails usually start out with something like, “Hi, Love your blog, really good way of addressing the issues,” blah, blah, blah. In the first sentence I can see that they didn’t actually read the blog but did do the numbers in terms of hits and page views and so on with regard to our popularity. Mostly I delete the emails and mark them as spam or trash so that we can terminate future pestering. I like our advert-free blogging protocol even though I can see that some adverts might have value.

DSC_0201 DSC_0155Today we began the third project and the intricacies of making shelving units. Of course the tools move more quickly now and the cuts hit the mark exactly. it seems an easier project but soon they will see added features I built in to add the demand and challenges I spoke of above.

DSC_0170I spent much of my time between lectures and demoes restoring the occasional table we filmed for the upcoming series that starts tomorrow. here is the preview of what you will miss if you are not a member. As I said, the students are proving more and more the amazon work we are doing through the online broadcast because they arrive with more knowledge and skills than ever before. Thats been wonderful.

DSC_0176I glued up my table after I removed all of the existing finish, glue and so on. The joints were of course all numbered and they still fit after I stripped everything off. I replaced and scraped all of the surfaces so that the wood would cosily match the one I replicated as a second table. Tomorrow they will stand side by side.

The post A Mixed Day of Bench Banter and Creativity appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Great Old Work Benches on E Bay.

David Barron Furniture - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 1:17pm

I was browsing through E Bay when I came accross this supplier of old work benches http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Large-workbench-antique-sideboard-butchers-block-kitchen-shop-display/321547334699?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140328180637%26meid%3Dfcbc9875d27e4665958880fc86935b5b%26pid%3D100009%26prg%3D20140328180637%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D10%26sd%3D251673019980

He's selling them for £400 to £500 each as antique displays for large houses but some of them would be far better off returned to their original use. The Scandinavian style is a great bench particularly for dovetailing. I have a version on the drawing board at the moment, but I'm not sure when I'll have time to build it!

This one here caught my eye, well past it's best, but have you ever seen a tail vice that big?!

Categories: Hand Tools

Moonlighting with the Screen Printer (Sweatshirts are in the Store)

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 1:04pm

So guess what I did today?

Today I was in the shop of Kelly Robbins who does screen printing and embroidery. Kelly, his wife and parents have been running Robbins Apparel since 1997, with Kelly working full-time for the last five years. As you can see, it is a small shop that requires a good amount of hand work. Today I was “catching” the garments after they were heated to cure the ink, which was a hot job!



Kelly starts with a poly material that he puts into a machine that places the art image onto it. I’m not really sure how it happens, but after spraying it with water the image becomes visible. This “screen” is now ready to be inserted into the print machine, which squeegees ink onto the garment.





In order to get the art to line up exactly with the zipper, Kelly thought like a woodworker. He put the image onto the carrier and then when he placed the hoodie onto the carrier he only had to unzip it a bit to see where the image was going to be placed.



And for the final very hot product…


Hooded sweatshirts are now live on the site. Get yours here.

— John

Filed under: Products We Sell
Categories: Hand Tools

Auto-Regulator, Chapter 4: Cutting the arch, part 1

James Watriss - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 1:03pm

The arch, the upper side horizontals, and the vertical posts come together in a pair of 3-way miter joints at the top of the case. That's the short version. And from an aesthetic point of view, that's really the version that matters. As long as the joint is cleanly made, the eye will freely run along the lines of the case. But from a construction point of view, things are almost never that simple. If there are any gaps, voids, or other breaks in the surface, the eye stops there, and the mind will take note. Much like a shrieking saxophone or clarinet in an orchestra, it won't matter if the melody is miraculous. It's the shriek that you'll notice, and the reverie will be interrupted. So, to make those clean transitions, understanding what's going on is a huge help... and I didn't properly understand what was going on when I got started on this project. So I'm going to break down this deceptively simple looking joint, before we get into how it was done.

On the side of the clock, the vertical post meets the upper horizontal in a 45 degree miter. That's pretty straightforward. I'm going to refer to this as the side miter.

On the front of the clock, the vertical post meets the arch in another miter joint, that's cut at an angle that I've never bothered to measure in terms of degrees. Those miter lines point from the top corners of the case, directly to the center of the clock face. The inner radius of the arch is concentric with the dial, so the miter line runs radially through that edge. I'll refer to this as the front miter.

The curved top surface of the arch meets the upper surface of the upper horizontal members in a 45 degree miter. And I'll refer to this as the top miter. And this is where things start to get funky in the mechanics of the joint.

The plane of the cut for the side miter is at 90 degrees to the plane of the side of the clock. Or, the table saw blade is at 90 degrees to the table, when those miters are cut on those pieces. The cut for the front miter is also cut at 90 degrees to the plane of the surface. That's pretty straightforward. And in my head, that made everything seem very, very simple. That should have been a clue to me that something was awry, I guess. But because the face miter is cut at a different angle as the side miter, the edge where those two cuts intersect gets skewed to one side. So the three-way miter becomes a three way compound miter.

Each cut defines a planar surface. Geometrically speaking, two planes that intersect will define a line along that intersection. Practically speaking, that line defines the edge that's made where the two cuts come together. And for this joint to work, the edge defined by the two cuts made on the vertical post, the edge defined by the two cuts on the horizontal member, and the edge that's defined by the two cuts on each end of the arch... those three edges must come together cleanly along their length, with all of the mating faces coming together fully.

The test joint actually came together cleanly, but if you zoom in on the picture, and see the different surfaces interacting, you'll start to get an idea of just how many things can go wrong in the joint. Oh, and having one of these come together is hard enough. To cut the arch properly, there are two of these joints to consider, one on each end. Which brings us back to the top miter.

To cut that compound miter, the 45 you see on the surface is defined in relation to the top edge of the horizontal, and the back edge of the arch. The angle of the blade during the cut, which is what makes this a compound miter, is defined in reference to the surface of the parts that will lie flat on the saw table.

But the top is curved. There is no reference surface.

Obviously, to be continued...

Categories: General Woodworking

2015 Class Schedule

Around The Shop - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 12:28pm
Here are the classes scheduled for 2015. All classes include materials and lunch everyday. A tool list will be supplied to you when you sign up for a class. The turnings will be supplied but instruction on turning will be given in class. I can have up to 4 students per class. I may add some weekend classes in the near future on stools and benches.

Jan. 12-17    Sack back $1000

Feb. 9-14 Continuous arm $1000

March 2-7 Comb back $1000

April 6-11 Sack back $1000

July 13-17 Fan back $1000

Aug 3-8 Continuous arm $1000

Sept. 14-19 Comb back rocker $1200

Oct. 12-16 Hoop back $1000

Nov. 7-14 Writing arm $1650

Dec. 7-12 Sackback $1000

Categories: Hand Tools

Hand Tools Rule! Fitting the Interior Drawer Frames

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 12:10pm

  Some of you may have been worried in the last few dresser building posts that I may have rejected the use of hand tools. Well, this is definitely not so. Hand tools rule in this part of the dresser build. I don’t know how I would do without them. In fact this part would […]

The post Hand Tools Rule! Fitting the Interior Drawer Frames appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

another piece of the story about my axe

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 11:39am

best fuchs hatchet


I know I’m lucky to have the hewing hatchets I do…I got mine from Alexander, and the legend is that Drew Langsner and Jennie (then-John) Alexander got them as partial payment for demos/lectures at Woodcraft back in 1979/80. I found this while down at Bob Van Dyke’s place this week: 


1971 Woodcraft catalog axe


 – a 1971 Woodcraft Catalog, that listed the limited quantity axe heads they were then offering. Says the first 100 orders will be filled, but 9 years later, they still had leftovers? $12 must have been too steep a price…

I have written about this/these hatchets many times – here’s one post about them http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/the-endless-look-at-hewing-hatchets/

Now, if there was 100 of them 40 years ago, where are they now? I had 3, gave one away….

Grain-painting Done Well – Quite Well

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 9:47am

When people ask me what foods I hate, I usually say, “I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s prepared well.” I didn’t like Brussels sprouts until I had them roasted. I didn’t like oysters until I tried them right from the creek. And I didn’t like green beans until I had fresh ones (ugh, 1970s canned green beans;I’d rather eat bauxite). The same thing goes for furniture finishes. Most people […]

The post Grain-painting Done Well – Quite Well appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Bench Building In An Avalanche

Inside the Oldwolf Workshop - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:59am
"Once the avalanche starts it's too late for the pebbles to vote."

This is one of my favorite lines from an old SciFi TV show called Babylon 5. It's been ringing in my head over the last few days.

A month ago today I posted here about some beams I picked up to build a new bench. At the time I thought those beams would sit in the corner of the shop for at least a few months before I was able to fit a bench build into my schedule. That was supposed to give me time to dwell and think about bench I wanted to make. Carefully weigh and debate my options and maybe save some pennies for new hardware and vises.

This is usually how I work, A big project has to sit and ruminate in my mind for a while. I pick apart the details and build it over and over a hundred times before I pick up a saw. Then, once I'm ready to go I can move through the project efficiently, because I have it all planned out.

This time, a trouble maker raised his hand and threw a wrench in the gears.

Mike Siemsen, The Naked Woodworker himself, was having a little spoon carving gathering at his place and I asked if I could come, hang out, and learn some from the folks there, I've dabbled a little in spoons lately myself, nothing much to be proud of really. But Mike picked up on the bench build and offered to help me run them through the big machinery he has for the school.

How could I say no. I packed up the beams in the truck and headed out for the weekend.

Mike does not mess around with his machines.

I have never owned a powered joiner or planer but I can really respect the power and ability inherent in these size tools. Mike is probably right when he says owning a smaller joiner that his really is just playing around.

We ran the three thinner beams (4" thick =  thinner. . . ) through the machines and glued them up into a benchtop in one evening. The next morning we scraped the glue and ran the whole benchtop through the planer one more time, top and bottom.

The result was spectacular.

We also sawed the larger beam in half and squared it up so I could bring it home and make my bench height decisions later. I just wasn't ready to commit just then, I hadn't cogitated on it for six months yet. And that's the crux of my next issue.

I don't want to wait to get this benchtop framed into a bench. The longer I wait to get it fixed the greater the chance of something going wrong, the top warping or falling off the stools I have it sitting on. I just can't let myself wait and see if it goes wrong. The same idea as gluing up a panel of boards as soon as possible after you joint and plane them. you want to lock in that flatness with the strength of the surrounding timber. Strength in numbers.

So for me, a simple pebble, the avalanche has started. It doesn't matter what else is on my plate, (and there are quite a few things right now) today is the time to build a bench.

Thanks Mike for the kick in the ass!

Ratione et Passionis
Categories: General Woodworking

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – Tip #41 – The bungee cord vs. the Festool cord-and-hose boom arm

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 8:33am

That Steven Johnson just won’t leave me alone.  I’m thinking of blocking his email address. He just won’t stop bugging me about the Festool cord-and-hose boom arm. I’m hoping for one of two outcomes. Either he sees I’m happy with this month’s tip to solve the problem or alternatively, maybe he thinks I’m just fooling myself and he will take pity on me and just send me one. Prepaid, that is.  Of course, he said he’s going to send me some of his “gently-used” washers, too, but I’m still waiting.

So, what are the chances he’ll be sending me a boom arm that costs $365.00? Well, OK, I’ll give you that it goes everywhere your CT dust extractor goes, which means there’s no disconnecting and moving, as there is with my bungee cord. And, it’s always set up and ready to use. Oh, yeah, and there’s no hunting for the end of the hose or the cord.  Y’know what? Maybe that Steve Johnson is onto something. Where’s my Highland Woodworking order form? Until we can get a Festool boom, you and I can enjoy my bungee cord version below:


My cord management system started out with this succession of screw hooks installed in the ceiling joists for the purpose of hanging items to paint. By looping an extension cord from hook to hook it’s easy to keep the cord above the work and out of the way, but easy to let out more cord when needed, too


The next generation embraced cord management and dust extractor hose management, too. Some tools have long enough cords for the electricity to follow the elevated hose. The bungee cord provides flexibility as the sander moves from one end of the board the other.


A closeup of the bungee cord attachment. A forecast probability of rain had me put up the “tent” so I could sand away without getting sanding dust all over the shop, but still not get rained on.

The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – Tip #41 – The bungee cord vs. the Festool cord-and-hose boom arm appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Graphite is the new black

Il grafite è il nuovo nero.

Since I do not seem to have read it anywhere outside of this old continent, I say it to you: Clico sold Clifton to Thomas Flinn & Co.
And the new owners have now changed the color from british-dark-racing-green to graphite gray.
And my English friends did not take it too well. :-)

Siccome non mi sembra di non averlo letto da nessuna parte al di fuori di questo vecchio continente, ve lo dico io: la Clico ha venduto la Clifton alla Thomas Flinn & Co.
E i nuovi proprietari gli hanno subito cambiato il colore da verde-scuro-da-gara-britannico in grigio grafite.
Ed i miei amici inglesi non l'hanno presa toppo bene. :-)

Sources and references:
Fonti e riferimenti:


Categories: Hand Tools

4 Workbench Classes, 3 Continents

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 5:54am


I’ll never know the pain of childbearing, but I think I know the next-closest thing: bench building. That why I include a full bottle of ibuprofen on the list of tools needed for my bench-building classes.

Students think I’m kidding about the pills, but by mid-week they are hitting my personal bottle of painkillers like a candy bowl at the front desk of a Mars bar factory.

For 2015, I am offering four bench-building classes on three continents: Australia, North America and England. I don’t know how many more of bench classes I have in me, so take that as fair warning. Here are details:

Build a Roubo Workbench at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking, Feb. 23-27, 2015

The owner of the Melbourne, Australia, school scored a load of sweet yellow pine benchtops that are already glued up. We’re going to transform these into some fantastic French-style workbenches with the traditional joint: a sliding dovetail and through-tenon at each corner.

As always, you can add your own vises to build the bench of your dreams. That’s one of the huge advantages of the open architecture of the French format.

For this Australia class I’ll also bring a stomach pump in addition to my painkillers. Aussies drink like Germans.


Knockdown Nicholson at The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville, Md., May 4-8, 2015

Knockdown Nicholson at The New English Workshop, July 20-24, 2015

The knockdown Nicholson workbench is a new design this year (check out details here). I’ve made many Nicholson-style workbenches, but this one is by far the best, easiest to build and knocks down in less than five minutes.

This bench is suited for anyone who doesn’t have a dedicated shop space, or who might need to move their bench on occasion. However, even if you don’t fit in those categories, this bench offers no downsides. Unlike other knockdown benches I’ve worked on, this one has no compromises. It is as solid as a French bench.

The version we’re building has no screw-feed vises, but you can bring whatever you like and we’ll add them to your bench. A leg vises would be ideal for the face vise position. I personally wouldn’t add a tail vise to this bench – I work just fine without one – but this bench can accept several tail vises as well.

While I am very much looking forward to returning to Royal Leamington Spa and Warwickshire College for this course, I am not sure how the local pubs feel about our triumphant return.

Build a French Bench at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking, Aug. 10-14, 2015
Using sweet, sweet ash from Horizon Wood Products, we’ll be building full-on Roubo-style workbenches in the well-equipped shop at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. And we will most certainly have a pizza-eating contest that week, courtesy of Frank Pepe’s.

As mentioned above, you can add whatever vises you like to this bench.

— Christopher Schwarz

P.S. There is one more workbench class scheduled for 2015: The French Oak Roubo Project. While that class is full, get on the waiting list if you want to do it. Spots may yet open up.

Filed under: Woodworking Classes, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Wishing 360 WoodWorking Well

Bob Lang's ReadWatchDo - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 4:44am
We’re continuing our efforts to get 360 WoodWorking up and running, and we’re hoping to flip the switch “any day now”. In the meantime, we continue to be humbled and grateful to all the people who have wished us well. … Continue reading
Categories: General Woodworking

Without a Challenge There is No Achievement

Paul Sellers - Tue, 10/14/2014 - 12:38am

DSC_0047The nine-day class starts its fourth day on track today and as usual it’s heads down and no need to crack the whip. Already I see new levels of confidence even though at times they may feel they are floundering. The chisels are held more accurately now and so too the plane cleans off the nubs of the dovetailed boxes ready for hingeing the lids. Today we start shelf building and that means stopped housing dadoes and through mortise and tenons.

DSC_0073 DSC_0008 DSC_0098

I see more and more the need for my work and of course some people arrive with skills and knowledge where others come to get them. All in all there is a lit to learn for both camps and those somewhere in between. Most of the time its a smooth flow throughout the day but then glitch comes and everyone learns from what happens. Dealing with high expectations is usually the biggest issue for some. DSC_0026False expectations and a microwave mentality can be difficult to shift from but when I explain that unrealism causes more distress than the real we move on and become increasingly more aware that the process brings fulfilment and not falling into the pit of wanting being approved. If you are already there then there is no achievement. Without a mountain there is no challenge. We are learning that life is indeed like wood in that it comes with knots in it.

All in all we are already making great progress and new reality is beginning for everyone. In this class we have three from the US and one from Switzerland as well as the Brits. Personalities start to show and people relax with one another a little more hour by hour. New friendships are formed and smiles come more quickly. Willie from Switzerland takes the jokes of high expectation because everyone expects his work to be as a Swiss-made watch and Steve, our retired symphony violinist, takes my suggestions of risk at the tool edge alongside my comparisons with tweaking the pressures on the strings to achieve perfect cuts with good humour too.


John made another masterful box with a sliding lid from secondhand oak and mahogany. DSC_0081 DSC_0094 DSC_0075Its very fine with 1/8” mortise and tenoned frame and panel and shaped sliding lid in quartersawn oak. We are al inspired by one another. Fires rarely burn with a single log but when two logs and then a third and fourth and more ignite and spark you start a blaze of spontaneity and inspiration.

The post Without a Challenge There is No Achievement appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

A Complete Overhaul on a 604-1/2 C

The Alaska Woodworker - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 10:00pm
I’ve been trying to put together a set Stanley Bedrocks for quite some time now.  I’m slowly replacing my Type 11 Baileys.  I recently picked up a 604-1/2 from a galoot on the Old Tools List.  I knew this one would need some work when I bought it.  Here is the picture I saw at […]
Categories: Hand Tools

Edith Ann is one lucky cat and Steve Johnson is one loving cat Dad

Toolemera - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 9:12pm
This is Edith Ann, a cat who recently was diagnosed with cancer. Steve Johnson is Edith Ann's cat person, whose lap you see Edith Ann napping upon. Despite the financial strain full vet care represented to Steve and his family, Edith Ann received the full treatment, surgery to remove the tumour and followup meds and care to help her in her recovery. I've never met Steve in person, but have known him for years and consider him a friend. By extension, so is Edith Ann my friend and when friends are in need, friends step up and do something to...
Categories: Hand Tools

Really Totally Finally Done

The Workbench Diary - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 7:27pm

The tool chest is finally completely finished. Paint and all. I first padded shellac over the paint and leveled out some of the dust nibs and junk in the paint.  Then this weekend I laid out and painted all the banding. I decided to scratch the lines first and then fill it in with pigmented shellac. This made getting straight lines easy and also required less pigment than if I had to paint over all that burnt sienna and burnt umber. I used a piece of scrap wood as a straight edge and a small nail set to scratch the width of the line I needed.

After I painted all the yellow in my scratch lines, I proceed to layout 1/4" knife marks to alternate black and yellow. Then I filled in every other box with black pigmented shellac. An unintended benefit to scratching the banding in first is that once completed, the sheen of the grained portions differs from the banding. I think is looks a lot more convincing that way. It gives it a visual texture that paint alone can't achieve.

Remember the original 1814 chest of drawers I'm basing this paint scheme on?

Here's my take on that paint.

Well that was a fun one. Now what?
Categories: Hand Tools

The New Bench Plans Are Here

Benchcrafted - Mon, 10/13/2014 - 7:06pm

After a long slog we've finally updated our Split Top Roubo Plans to include our Benchcrafted Crisscross.

Couple reasons this has taken so long. First, we made some other changes along the way that we thought would justify a delay on doing a major update. Second, while we were making the updates we lost all our files that make easy updates possible. Several hard drives, and even backup drives were corrupted. This happened right on the cusp of being finished with the big update. So we had to rebuild the plans from the ground up. And of course this meant going through all the dimension yet again to make sure we hadn't made any errors (there are a LOT of numbers to consider.)

But that is all water under the bridge. The good news is the updated plans are at the printer and should be available to ship by the end of the week. The new plans show the Crisscross, the new Glide M/C as well as all the drawings for Crisscross-related joinery that we've been supplying at the end of the Crisscross and Glide installation instructions for the past couple years. Here's another nice bit. If you're installing a Classic Leg Vise instead of a Glide, you can build the bench exactly from the plans. Both vises fit the bench the same way. The only difference is that the Classic mounts to the chop with wood screws instead of machine screws. That's it.

We'll also be updating the Crisscross and Glide installation instructions so the additional templates aren't included any longer. That would just be confusing if you're building the Split Top Roubo. The plans show everything you need to know.

Special thanks to our tireless draftsman Louis Bois.

Categories: Hand Tools


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