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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...

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Smoother Restoration

The English Woodworker - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 5:07am

Before I could set my sights on a first little project I was tasked with restoring a couple of my wooden planes, starting with the smoother. My instructions were to take back any grime and residue built up around the plane and then to flatten the back of the iron
I set to with some very fine wire wool giving everything a quick clean over. I didn’t want to take back too much of the patina on the plane body so I was gentle and a swift wipe was enough to see the wood re-emerge – a lovely piece of quartered beech. The mouth needed extra attention where dust had become caked up tightly in the corners as this would become a problem later when seating the iron in nice and flat.smoother before restoration

Truing the back of the iron was a much more lengthy procedure. I had the option of a water stone grinder but felt that I would ruin the whole thing if I used something fast cutting – I really wasn’t confident about holding the iron flat, and for good reason. I started out with 180 grit paper on the granite slab and my pile gradually increased right through to 2000 grit.
If you’re going to do something similar for the first time then I would point out that sticking the paper down to the flattening plate securely would be a very good idea. I may have received similar advice but it went straight over my head and I only held the paper down loosely with a bit of suction from wetting the underside. The paper curled up at the corner but I carried on regardless back and forth over and over. When I stopped to check on progress it was apparent that something wasn’t quite right, perhaps it was the curling up paper or just poor technique, but I had managed to curve off one of the corners. This wasn’t the only issue. After revealing some nice fresh steel it had become clear that the pitting in some areas was deep – I called out for help.iron with pitting

I was shown a better technique for holding the iron while pushing, this was to turn the iron to a diagonal position rather at 90 degrees, and focus on making nice long strokes (instead of many short ones) with a stronger down force on the push than on the pull.
I gave things another go and saw some improvement in the corner but the pitting looked like it might defeat me. Richard came to the rescue with the grinder to speed things along, he held the iron flat against the side of the stone and in just a couple of minutes the pitting was removed. It’s definitely a bonus to have access to the grinder for old irons like this.Pitting removed

I was told that I didn’t need to flatten the whole thing, the first 2″ was enough, so it was now ready to go back to the flattening plate and work up the grits. I was advised not to spend too much time on each grit – once I could see even scratches across the surface I was ready to move to the next. By the 400 grit I could feel a noticeable difference, it was smoother to push and the scratches became less visible, the surface looked dull and even.iron smooth

I was conscious the whole time of keeping the iron flat so that I didn’t ruin the edge again and create lots of extra work. Slowly though the round over returned, it wasn’t as bad as before but this time it was on both sides. I’m still clearly no expert but hopefully it will be a lesson well learnt. After a slapped wrist for shoddy technique I was able to improve on things and with a lot of concentration I was able to reach 2000 grit with the iron (almost) straight at the corners and lovely and polished.

I needed to turn my attention to the sole of the plane which was a similar but much faster process . I started and finished with 120 grit sandpaper which I was told was ample since the sole will become burnished through use. This small body took less than 3 minutes, I simply pulled it back carefully along the sandpaper until the darker, low spots were gone.flatten sole_2

With everything prepared I was ready to get some further guidance in creating the bevel and sharpening the cutting edge…

Categories: Hand Tools

My Final Visit to Studley’s Chest (And Your First One)

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:49am

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In about 90 minutes I leave the real world to enter the shadowy territory of H.O. Studley. His tool cabinet and workbench are under the kind curation of a man who wishes to remain anonymous. And so we turn off all the location services on our smart devices.

During this final visit, we will shoot a video about the chest, including a time-lapse film of us unloading it. And we will finish all the extra still photos we need for Don Williams’ forthcoming book, “Virtuoso: The Tool Cabinet and Workbench of H.O. Studley.”

Don is almost finished with his manuscript. I have read his first draft, and Don has uncovered a lot of information on Studley himself and the interesting journey of the chest from Quincy, Mass., to the wall of a collector’s Batcave.

The photos, by Narayan Nayar, are of museum quality.

The book will be released in March 2015, just in time for the (perhaps final) public exhibit of the chest and workbench that coincides with the Handworks event in the Amana Colonies, May 15-16, 2015. Don’t miss Handworks. Seriously. You will kick yourself if you do. Nothing else embodies the ideas of hand-tool woodworking that we hold dear at Lost Art Press. It’s not a commercial thing. There are no guys selling router bits. No Sham-wows. Just lots of people who love handwork having a good time. Admission is free.

The Studley exhibit will be held at the Masonic lodge in nearby Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The exhibit is being funded entirely out of Don Williams’ pocket with some volunteer help. There is no corporate or museum money behind him. This is, frankly, a huge risk on Don’s part.

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When Don visited here recently I asked him about the exhibit and if he would cancel it if he didn’t sell enough tickets. He replied, “No.” After I asked the obvious follow-up, “Why?” here’s the answer I received.

“Because it has to be done. This might be the only chance for people to ever see these objects. And,” he added, ”I said that I would do it.”

If you are thinking about attending or just want to support this kind of quixotic endeavor, buy your tickets at http://www.studleytoolchestexhibit.com/. Tickets are only $25.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley
Categories: Hand Tools

A Card Catalogue – Part Fourteen

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:11am
  Moving along with part fourteen of the Card Catalogue series- in this video, the stand is glued using hot hide glue. I began with the short ends of the stand/frame, and allowed them to dry overnight. Once the glue was fully cured, I added...
Categories: Hand Tools

Designing a Moxon Vise

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 4:00am
In the past few years what has become to be known as a "Moxon Vise" has become a pretty popular workbench accessory. The basic theory behind it is that lots of joinery operations, especially dovetailing, need to be done at a higher bench height than a typical bench - which is usually set for planing operations. In Moxon's engraving from Mechanick Exercises(1678) the vise is placed at an obviously incorrect position, with no way of attaching it to the bench. Felibien, in an earlier book, (which Moxon liberally copied from) shows a group of these vises hanging from a wall behind the main workbench.
I think it was the Lost Art Press' edition of The Art of Joinery that brought the vise back to the limelight and it is now a very popular accessory.
Today several vendors, ourselves included, stock complete Moxon vises ready for use or hardware kits for making your own. Our vise, which was designed and is made for us by the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop, has a couple of unique features, notably a cambered from jaw for ease of clamping, and handles that can be moved out of the way while working. The hardware for the vise, which was a joint design by ourselves and the PFW is specially designed to allow for wear and a lot of give in the wood. Our hardware kit doesn't include drawings for the vise because, while the PFW design is perfect for hordes of people, if you are going to the trouble of making a vise for yourself, you might as well take a moment and decide if some customization is in order. However so many people have asked us for some guidance I thought explaining some design considerations might be in order.

At its most simple the vise is just two boards with screws to clamp them together and enough thickness on the back jaw so that the vise in turn it can be clamped to your bench. The actual size isn't critical. The screws need to be inset far enough in from the ends so the wood doesn't split - a couple of inches at most - and the main dimension is the clamping distance between the screws and the overall height of the vise. Unless you have the urge to have several vises, you want a clamping distance wide enough for any carcase you are likely to make - say 24" max, but 18" or 20" between the screws is probably more realistic. Also you don't want to make such a heavy monster that moving it all the time is a chore. The height is the next issue - you want it high enough so it brings dovetailing to a comfortable height. 4" is fine for most people, 6" might be better for a tall person on a short bench - here is one area where personal preference is important.


Now we are already into two tweaks. By cutting down the ends of the rear jaw into ears you give yourself clamping surfaces that will keep cutting tools away from your holdfasts - the usual device for attaching the vise to your bench.


Among the innovations made by the Philadelphia Furniture Workshop in our vise - a narrow shelf is glued on the back of the rear jaw to create a clamping ledge so that you can clamp your tails down firmly when you lay out your pins.


The way our kit works is that the two acme screws thread into two nuts mortised into the back jaw of the vise. Just locate the holes far enough from the bottom so the nuts have enough clearance and first drill the holes and then mortise away. The nuts we use are custom for the vise and are offset. We found that, especially with a sloppy mortise, a regular nut can spin in the mortises as the vise wears. This design gives you plenty of room for error and you won't have to worry about wear.


The front jaw can be as thin as 4/4 but here again the Philadelphia furniture workshop design has a great innovation. The inside of the jaw is slightly cambered so even if the jaws are tightened unevenly the vise will hold in the center perfectly. Also the thinner front jaw, not only makes the vise lighter, the jaw can bend a little when clamping for a better fit on the work.


Finally it's nice to have a little something to help align the vise to the front edge of your bench.


We didn't use Moxon type vises when I was learning woodworking. What a shame. I cannot imagine not having one now. Especially since between my back and my eyesight (lack of) getting the work closer to me, and not having to slouch down to work is a real boon, Whichever design you use I think it's a really great addition for work holding in the workshop.




More Sweatshirts on the Way

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:47am

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The new Lost Art Press sweatshirts are selling faster than we anticipated. We are sold out of size “medium” and are almost out of XXL. But don’t fear, small one (or very large one), we are ordering more today.

We will keep this item in stock through all the cold months in 2014 and 2015.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Products We Sell
Categories: Hand Tools

How to Choose Lumber for Woodworking {7 Simple Steps}

Wood and Shop - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 3:01am

When I got started in woodworking I was incredibly confused about choosing wood. In the above video, and in the article below, I share what I’ve learned about the basics of choosing lumber for woodworking. I want to save you time and head aches in trying to understand lumber!

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The topic of lumber confused me mainly because I couldn’t find a simple summary of the topic. I found a lot of complex discussions with different terms used by different “experts”. I am by no stretch of the imagination a lumber expert, but I’m very good at simplifying complex topics so that everyone can understand. As a result, this is a simple practical guide to help you understand how wood moves, what wood to buy, how to buy it, and where to buy it.

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After you learn the basics from this video and article I encourage you to look at the bottom of this article for a list of links, books, and DVDs that will expand your understanding beyond the scope of this article.

So let’s get started with the 7 simple steps below!

1. CHOOSE HARDWOOD OR SOFTWOOD?

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Question: For your woodworking projects, should you choose a hardwood lumber like Hard Maple or Lignum Vitae? Or softwood lumber like Southern Yellow Pine or Red Alder?

Answer: That depends entirely on what you are building.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Some projects even require a mix of both hardwoods and softwoods, like a violin or a workbench. For example, violin makers use a soft Spruce for the soundboard and a harder Maple for the back, sides (ribs) and neck.

violin-mold-template-luthier

Many craftsmen of the past built the bases of their workbenches with less-expensive pine (softwood) and the tops & vices with hardwoods like beech or maple. The base of the workbench wouldn’t take a beating, so soft pine would work just fine. But the top of the workbench and the vice needed to be more durable.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Just use your brain to determine what type of wood you should use on different parts of your furniture.

BOOK: I have found this book to be an incredible guide to choosing different types of wood because it shows beautiful grain patterns & discusses woodworking uses for 400 different woods: “Wood Identification & Use” by Tery Porter.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

JANKA WOOD HARDNESS TEST?

The lumber industry uses the “Janka hardness test” to test and rate common woods for hardness. The test involves pressing a steel ball to gauge how much pressure each wood species takes to push the ball half way into the wood. You can download my free PDF of the Janka chart here. {If you can’t open a PDF then install the free Adobe PDF Reader here.}

2. CHOOSE DIMENSIONALLY STABLE WOOD WITH VERTICAL END GRAIN

quartersawn wood beech

Unless you’re set on having a wildly figurative grain pattern on your furniture, you’re probably going to want to choose the most stable wood possible; especially if you are building fine furniture or woodworking hand tools that need great stability (e.g. hand planes, straight edges, or try squares):

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Yes, wood moves when it dries and also with the changes in seasons and location (temperature and humidity). Wood doesn’t really get longer (thank goodness) but it does expand in width as humidity rises:

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Even if you are using a beautiful (yet unstable) grain pattern on part of your furniture, it’s a good idea to use stable wood on the other parts. For example, look at an old wooden door. The panels usually have more decorative (less stable) wood, but the rails and stiles (parts of the frame) are usually very stable straight grained wood (don’t worry, I’ll clarify “straight grain” below).

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So the key is to find boards that will be as stable as possible during those changes in humidity. But how do you get wood that has stable “vertical grain”? This is the question that confused me for awhile. The answer is: It all depends on how the wood is milled from the tree. This is what I’ll cover in step 3:

3. LEARN THE DIFFERENT WOOD MILLING CUTS

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Looking at the board’s end grain will tell you how a board was sawn from the log, and how stable it will be. In a minute I’ll jump into each of these cuts in a little more detail, but this graphic illustrates how different cuts come from the log:

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But mills rarely cut up a board like the graphic above. “Through and through” is the most common method that lumber mills employ when milling lumber. It’s simply like slicing horizontal layers along the length of the log:

through-and-through-slices

You’ve probably seen someone do the same thing with a chainsaw mill at home. Bill Anderson shared some valuable insights with me regarding lumber cut with the “through and through” method: “Depending on where in the log the boards come from, they will be either flat, rift or quartersawn, or show a transition between these cuts across the width of the board.”

through-and-through-milling

Take special notice, in the above graphic, how stable wood can extract from a wider board.

Lumber sellers don’t always label the cut of their boards, so don’t hesitate to carry a sharp block plane to the lumber yard to uncover the end grain:

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You’ll often need to remove the mill marks and the colored wood end grain sealer to see the end grain.

block-plane-end-grain-lumber-close-up

You should definitely dig through the boards and use your knowledge from this article to select the best you can find. You can also find good “vertical grain” as part of a larger flat sawn board, and just cut it off both edges (leaving the center for fire wood):

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Here is what the different main lumber cut types look like after the’re cut off of a flat sawn board:

lumber-sawn-type-diagram

Let’s discuss each of them in a tiny bit more detail:

A. FLAT SAWN / PLAIN SAWN (LEAST STABLE)

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Most consumer-grade boards are flat sawn, and often display a “cathedral” pattern on the board face:

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Lumber companies want to maximize their profits by getting as many boards out of a log as possible. You can definitely use flat sawn boards in your projects, but just realize that the wood will move over time, and may cup or twist and separate your wood joints. Although some joints can be arranged to better accommodate the movement (see part 1/15 of my dovetail tutorial…skip to 1:41) it’s better to start out with wood that isn’t going to move as much. In section 4 below you’ll see some problems that are common to flat sawn boards (like twist, cupping, bowing, etc.).

flat-sawn-lumber-cupping

If the flat sawn boards have already moved out of square, then you’ll have to spend some considerable time flattening & straightening the board right before you use it. So it’s best to stick with a more stable cut of lumber, like quartersawn lumber. Or at least keep your flat sawn boards stacked (until the last possible moment) with “stickers” between them and weights on top to prevent movement, then secure them with good joinery or fasteners (e.g. nails) when building furniture.

B. QUARTERSAWN LUMBER (VERY STABLE)

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Quartersawn wood is very stable, and less susceptible to movement. The 60-90 degree verticle grain qualifies a board as “quartersawn” within the lumber industry. See how the end grain is running nearly up-and-down? That is called “vertical grain”. Quartersawing also produces fairly straight face grain and usually very beautiful ray flecks (for example, see the flecks on the beech wood above).

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But since quartersawing requires more effort and wastes more wood, it is naturally more expensive. But you don’t have to run out to your local mill and ask for the quartersawn boards. As mentioned in the last section, quartersawn wood can be cut off the edges wide flatsawn boards. Yes, even from construction lumber!

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To produce 12″ wide construction lumber (2×12 pine boards), lumber companies have to use the center of the tree. So naturally quartersawn & riftsawn lumber will be on the edges, and just needs to be cut off. This is how Roy Underhill gets nice quartersawn yellow pine at low prices from big box stores like Lowes & Home Depot. He taught me this when I was helping him rip a wide piece of construction lumber for his school teacher’s desk tv program (watch the episode).

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Notice how the above 2×12 construction-grade flat sawn board actually has some very stable quartersawn wood on both sides of the wide board? Here’s what it looks like after I cut it off with a rip saw and use handplanes to square it up:

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C. RIFTSAWN LUMBER (MORE STABLE)

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The riftsawn section of a board is similar to quartersawn cuts, but its endgrain is between 30-60 degrees to the face. Riftsawn boards have a characteristically straight face grain pattern. These boards are also pretty stable and can be utilized if your furniture project calls for extremely straight face grain, like modern or Japanese-style projects.

D. RIVEN LUMBER (MOST STABLE)

riven-wood-froe-mallet

The most stable boards are “riven” or “rived” directly from a log by you, exploiting the weakness of the grain (like splitting firewood). Riven boards are a subset of quartersawn because they are also split along the radial plane of the log, producing grain lines that are square to the board face and straight down the board.

These boards are not only the most stable, but they can also be some of the most beautiful with maximum “fleck”:

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So why do you not hear about this type of lumber very often? Because wood mills and lumber yards don’t have it. Their boards are cut with large powerful saws. Riven boards require muscle power and hand tools like a large crosscut saw (or chain saw), wedges, mallets, a froe, an adze, a hewing hatchet & handplanes.

riving-logs-into-lumber

I’ll share a riving video tutorial at a later date. But in the meantime, Peter Follansbee shows how to rive your own red oak from logs, as part of his helpful DVD video: “17th Century Joined Chest.”

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 (click here for the DVD).

Here is a very helpful animation (from a professional miller) that clarifies the quartersawn & riftsawn process:

4. LUMBER DEFECTS TO AVOID

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Since I do most of my woodworking with antique hand tools, I like my boards to be as easy to work as possible. Wood defects can be even tougher to work with for a hand tool woodworker like me. Some wood defects can be resolved with saws, handplanes, and even epoxy. But if I’m paying for wood I like to find boards that require as little work as possible. So look out for some of these problems:

KNOTS

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Knots can cause problems for hand tool woodworkers, especially when passing your handplane over the top. And knots like to fall out over time. Yes, you can mix epoxy and sawdust to solidify the knot, but most of the time I avoid them all together. But you may like the look of them in a rustic piece of furniture. Just be aware.

SAPWOOD & INSECT HOLES

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Some people like the rustic look of sapwood & insect holes. But I don’t. I avoid it, or cut around it. In the photo below you’ll see two boards glued together. The reddish wood is the heart wood. It would be on the inside of the tree. It was dead long before the tree was cut down, so the insects didn’t eat it. The sap would is the white wood with worm insect holes. Insects continue to eat at the sapwood long after the tree is cut down. So I prefer to avoid or remove the sapwood.

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WOOD MOVEMENT DEFECTS:

When lumber isn’t stacked, sealed, and dried properly it is prone to move in all sorts of strange ways:

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CHECKING

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Checking happens when a board dries too quickly or unevenly. The cracks move along the board. So it’s best to avoid these boards. If you are cutting your own lumber from a tree, checking can often be prevented by using a good quality wood end grain sealer (like I mentioned above)…the red stuff painted on the ends of boards in many of the above & below photos. Lumber should also be stacked with “stickers” or spacers of even thickness, with weights on top.

TWIST & CUPPING

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When green (wet) boards aren’t properly stacked they will cup or twist. Cupping is when the board turns into a cup shape (see above). Twisting is when board ends twist different ways. It takes a lot of work to plane out the twisting or cupping. I don’t always turn down free wood that is twisted or cupped, but I won’t buy it.

BOWING

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Bowed boards are like a bow that you shoot arrows with (see above). To me, this defect is a bit harder to correct for than twisting or cupping. So I avoid these boards…unless they’re free (like the above lacewood board was).

CROOK

Crook is similar to bow, but the wood arcs the other way. This is an easier defect to fix because it only involves jointing the board’s eges…which I do anyway.

 5. LEARN WHERE TO BUY LUMBER

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LUMBER FROM LOCAL MILLS OR HARDWOOD DEALERS

For nice hardwoods I like to visit small local wood mills. If I can’t find what I’m looking for there, I expand my search to regional “Hardwood” dealers. You’ll save money and get better quality wood through local mills and dealers. Some of them even carry a few exotic hardwoods. These companies specialize in furniture grade wood, whereas woodworking supply stores & hardware stores do not.

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However, even though some woodworkers warn to “stay away from the big box stores” (e.g. Lowes & Home Depot) there is a place for big box stores. While they don’t carry nice hard woods, as mentioned above, you can sift through to find nice wide yellow pine construction boards, from which you can rip out quartersawn boards. These stores also carry nice pre-dimensioned poplar. This is great for people that don’t have the skill or time to dimension all their own boards. Bill Anderson and I have been in Lowes to find 1/4″ poplar for my tool chest’s trays & tills.

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LUMBER FROM WOODWORKING HOBBY STORES

If you live in a larger city, then you may be close to a woodworking supply store, like Woodcraft. Their specialty is selling tools & woodworking supplies, but they usually care small quantities of hardwoods. They also carry a good selection of small blanks for wood turners. Lumber can be expensive at these types of stores because they don’t deal with large volume. But if you live in the city, then this may be your least expensive option.

ONLINE / MAIL ORDER LUMBER

Because I have a lot of lumber near me, mail ordering (or online ordering) lumber is foreign to me. Heck, my neighbors see me dragging fallen oak, beech, and poplar logs from the woods behind my house and riving boards out of them! However, even though I can’t touch the wood beforehand, I’m planning on experimenting with online lumber sellers soon. Here’s my upcoming experiment (subscribe to my free articles if you want to be notified of this experiment):

I first plan to order some small quantities of exotic hardwood from a few different higher rated eBay lumber sellers like these because of eBay’s money-back guarantee. I’ll be careful to choose eBay lumber sellers who have a high number of sales and a high positive feedback percentage:

eBay-lumber-sellers

I’ve ordered a lot of tools on eBay and have seen that highly rated eBay sellers usually bend over backwards to keep their high rating.

When I receive the lumber I’ll inspect it to see how closely it matches the photos and descriptions, and look at the quality. I’ll let you know how it goes!

In addition to eBay, here are some online lumber sellers that are reported (by other woodworkers) to have a good reputation:

 

6. LEARN THE LANGUAGE OF THE MILL & LUMBERYARD

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

Most beginner woodworkers don’t know what to look for when they visit a mill, a lumber yard, or an online lumber store. After reading the above advice, you should now understand how to identify great stable wood. But how do you avoid looking like a moron when you go to buy wood?

LEARN ABOUT BOARD THICKNESS

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The first consideration to keep you from feeling stupid at the lumberyard is to understand that lumber people speak of wood thicknesses in “quarters”. For example, in the United States:

lumber-thickness-lingo

LEARN HOW TO CALCULATE “BOARD FEET”

Take your tape measure and calculator to the lumber mill because in the United States most lumber suppliers calculate the price of their wood using a very simple “board feed” volume calculation:

wood-lumber-board-feet-formula

When I go to the lumber yard I like to take a small tape measure, like this pocket-sized Stanley 12′ tape measure (longest you’ll need for a board), but you can use most any tape measure.

 

MOISTURE METERS

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It’s a good practice to also carry a lumber moisture meter with you when you buy rough lumber. This link shows some highly rated, yet affordable moisture meters. I purchased this General Tools moisture meter and really like it. I think it was around $25-$30.

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Below I’ll discuss the debate about moister level and acclimating lumber to your workshop.

7. ACCLIMATE YOUR LUMBER TO YOUR SHOP

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THE WOOD ACCLIMATION DEBATE

I always believed that lumber moisture needed to be under 10% for building furniture. However, in this Popular Woodworking Magazine discussion Glen Huey said that if your moisture meter registers 22% or lower, then you should buy the hardwood and there won’t be much need for acclimating the wood to your workshop’s humidity level before shaping the wood.

©  Joshua T. Farnsworth

He experimented to come up with this claim. I’m sure this claim will make many woodworker’s blood boil, but it’s nice to know that I don’t have to be quite as concerned as I once thought.

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If your lumber isn’t as dry as you would like (over 22% in Glen Huey’s opinion…probably over 10-15% in my opinion), then it’s a good idea to let it acclimate to your workshop, or a room that’s similar to the furniture’s final resting place (a room, not the land fill). It’s a good idea to use “stickers” between your lumber (even if it’s plenty dry) to keep the boards flat. The stickers (thin sticks) should have a uniform thickness. This is one of the few times that I use plywood because of it’s uniform thickness. I just cut a sheet into a bunch of small strips.

Phew!

Well I hope this wasn’t too confusing. But believe me, this is definitely more simple than the hours that I had to study to understand this stuff.

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT LUMBER? ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ABOUT WOOD FOR WOODWORKING:

 

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New Series On woodworkingmasterclasses Starts Today

Paul Sellers - Wed, 10/15/2014 - 12:38am

DSC_0176Just so you know. We start the new series on making the table I blogged on last night and have mentioned over the past few weeks. I think it really unpacks the past methods of this make and that it introduces methods so very viable today for today’s enthusiasts for real woodworking.

Got to woodworkingmasterclasses.com and enjoy!

The post New Series On woodworkingmasterclasses Starts Today appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

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!

IMG_3707

IMG_3726

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.

IMG_3719

IMG_3722

IMG_3723

IMG_3711

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.

IMG_3713

IMG_3715

And for the final very hot product…

IMG_3717

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
Oldwolf
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:

tips1

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

tips2

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.

tips3

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:

http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/clifton-planes-t83287.html
https://www.facebook.com/cliftonplanes
https://www.facebook.com/thomasflinnsaws
https://www.pinterest.com/thomasflinnsaws/clifton-planes/
http://www.clico.co.uk/products/clifton
http://www.flinn-garlick-saws.co.uk/acatalog/HAND-PLANES-p1.html




Categories: Hand Tools

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