If you want to see the version with all the pictures, please click here. I got up with the sun today to get a head start on bench before the munchkins got up. First order of business was to unclamp the 2nd half that I glued up last night. Then, after a quick run with the plane to smooth out the mating faces, I glued up the two halves. It’s now one massive slab of wood where a little over a week ago, it was just a collection of 16 2×4s. This thing is gratifyingly heavy as well. ...
It took about an hour, but I got my 1” chisel sharpened today, at least the main 25 degree bevel. I jacked the sandpaper up too much to do the 30 degree secondary bevel and didn’t feel like setting new paper up. I’ll do it later. I didn’t have the exact grits I needed in order to do it according to the one article I was going off of, so I just used what I had that was close. I started with 100 grit and ended up with 2000 grit. I used masking tape with the gr...
This table is special I suppose because it is my first. My shop being set in all natural conditions sure made this a spread out project, there were some truly brutal hot and humid days that let this sit and wait for a better time to work with it. I wanted a piece that had touches of rustic warmth supported with lines of a Renaissance rhythm. To stand back and see the entire composition in it’s thought out form, from some ragged sketches to this on my living room floor is a nice reward for ...
After some excellent advice in my last blog post, I decided rather that trying to work on my dovetail skills, I would take a step back and work on the component skills. I wanted to make my version of woodpezzer's porcupine. I had the wood (some figured maple in smaller pieces). Why not try that! I started by gluing up three one inch pieces and drawing on my little porky. He is about 14” long and 6” tall. Next came my rough shaping. Big chunks, little chunks, some ...
The shims I glued to my tenons are ready to be pared back. Seems like the mortises were just a little less than square with each other, which caused the twist when connecting the two of them with the center piece. So this session involved a lot of me hunching over the bench paring away paper thin shavings. Testing my fit. The top of the tenon cheek is good, but the rest of it is still a little too fat. Shaving just a bit off, and then it fits nice and snug. I also dete...
Last time I didn’t have all four bottom surfaces sitting flat. Turns out this was due to the center piece being fitted with a slight twist because one mortise had been carved out with a slight twist. So, by the time the mortise was straightened out somewhat with a chisel, the tenons didn’t quite fit as snug as they should. So on both tenons of the center piece, I glued some thin mahogany strips to shim up the tenons to tighten the fit. These will likely end up being pared or f...
When my grandad was a carpenter he worked in Aras an Uachtairain (the irish presidents house), he brought this table home from there one day when he was in his 20’s because it was going to be thrown out, he did some repairs and salvaged it. But after being used for 60 years (which the first governor of ireland wrote on the table) and then being used another 40 years when my grandad got it, it was in pretty bad shape. My granny said i could do what i wanted to do with it, because she had...
In case you missed it, here is Part 1 in this series. First thing I did was employ my new-to-me drill press to establish an inner curve for the vaulted feet. Placing the center brad of a Forstner bit ensures that an even radius is cut into both sides, which were held together with blue tape. Not an ideal clamping solution, but it’s adequate for this. Always use a backer board to avoid blowout! I had a bit of tearout around the mortise here, but the rack will obscure the flaw af...
You ever see people leave posts on Craiglist for used tools that say in “good condition”, etc. and the asking price is average, or above average? Some times they mis-identify the tool and label it what they think it is. Then you view the pic (if one is attached) and it’s an old rusty hunk of metal? Are these some people cleaning out their parents garage and finding an old handplane, take the name(s) off the item, and place a value on the tool…..without doing any res...
A katanakake is an elegant way to display Japanese swords. Like much of the aesthetic that descends from feudal-era Japan, it can be purely functional or highly decorative, but form always follows function. The Edo period of Japan saw the creation of countless beautiful artworks in every possible medium, be it woodworking, architecture, sword making, painting, etc. So how did I stumble upon this specialized niche, anyway? A few years ago I started practicing Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido...
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