Ok, I’m back… Had a bit of an issue with the bending iron. It seems it is rather delicate and putting it on high (10) is a no no. It’s a Watlow ‘Firerod’ embedded in the aluminum tower. The current flow at 10 apparently burns out the element? It requires about an hour to get to bending temperature – and had I read the sheet that it came with… It was repaired free of charge and henceforth I will be careful to mind the dial! Nothing past 5 from no...
HEAR YE, HEAR YE!! Yes, Virginia we now have definitive proof that cavemen did enjoy scooping coffee! In fact cromagnun man (and woman) were the precursor to modern day Starbucks. In response to my recent posting of a neanderthal period coffee scoop, that was presented alongside a lovely model crafted by my L/J friend Jerry W, it was suggested that we begin an archelogical study, a challenge or showcase if you will of scoops and spoons. Because it was my shamelessly (or was it shamefacedl...
I spent the first weekend in October at the Acanthus Workshop in Pennsylvania taking the Woodworking Fundamentals I class. All in all a great couple days spent with Chuck and Joe, with excellent lunches provided by Chuck’s wife Lorraine. From the Acanthus Web Site: This two day course covers the basic hand tools used in fine furniture making. Students will learn how to determine a good tool from a bad tool, what tools are really necessary for furniture making, how the tools w...
Back in 1989 my first and best mentor died, my grandpa lived next to me growing up and I spent many hours in his shop bugging him. He taught me a lot and little did I know years later I would still be repeating things he said in my head as I’m working. Gramps worked with oak and mahogany quite a bit so every time I smell either species I picture him looking over my shoulder. I think the coolest thing about woodworking is the legacy it leaves. I’ll be paying for something at a ...
I’m beginning a new project in the style of Greene and Greene and to do that I need to be able to cut good mortise and tenon joints. And since every new project requires a new tool, I bought 2…
Ali's Workbench w/ Shop Made Wagon Vise #1: 3 1/2" Thick Workbench top w/ Shop Made Wagon Vise - Almost Done!
Here is a better pic of my workbench top and shop made end vise. The legs are almost done. I did some experimentation with a drawbore (name?) tenon that you can see on the back end. The empty space is where the half long tool tray will be. Honestly, I am undecided about the tool tray. Would it even be possible to just fill it in? Suggestions would be great! :) This is my first attempt at dovetails. And they are extremely hard! I am sure you can see the little spaces/discolorations but I r...
I’ve cut and installed the corner and end blocks on the mold with just a dab of glue, so when I remove the mold, they release easily. These are what the ribs (sides) attach to. The blocks are made of willow because of its lightness and the added benefit that it is a fairly straight grained wood which makes cutting with the inside gouge an easy task. I then drew the points and top and bottom using the template. These are two different violins – reason for two templates. U...
I started this project a while ago, but because of work haven’t had much time to work on it. By the time I’m done, it should be just in time to put it up for the winter! Oh well. This is my first project entirely done with hand tools. This is the top, 20” square and 1 3/8” thick. The legs are 4×4’s but planed down to a little less than 3.5” I’m not sure if these M&T joints have an official name, but they’re more li...
Recently, I was lamenting to a friend about my limitations in the camera department. She wanted to take some pictures of me working so I demonstrated some tool use (well, the way I use them anyway ;), so now I have some pictures of me working in the shop. Lathing Here are a few pics of me setting up a block and turning with the roughing gauge - Sharpening Using the Work Sharp to put an edge back on the roughing gouge - I still can’t freehand on a grinder ...
Ok, I’ve been working on this for about 18 months. A little here and a little there… a piece at a time. It’s finally finished and now I can move on to making instruments. I never built a bench, or anything else – unless you consider that bowl I turned in wood shop 45 years ago? – so there was some learning curve involved. I never: made box joints or drawers, glued up a top, made and installed mortise & tenon’s, installed a vice – let alone two ...
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