I own a die and tap to thread wood but the diameter is 3/4” and this is a dowel size I can’t find locally.I have thus decided to try and build a rounding plane / dowel maker to create my own 3/4” dowels. A rounding plane is is like a giant pencil sharpener with a cone shaped inlet and an outlet bored to the exact size of the desired dowel.I never held such a tool in my hands and the only ressource I have is an old Fine Woodworking article I remember which gave 2 guideline...
I don’t recommend that you do a larger resaw for the top of your table. While doing this gives you the option to book-match figure, that invites two problems. One, the grain direction on a book matched table top reverses across the joint making the smoothing operation a more more careful process. Two, resawn stock always moves…no matter how dry it is, it is always more moist on the inside of a board than on the outside. As it equalizes it moves. This requires you to either re-...
Now that you have the joints cut you are a bit closer to your glue up…but don’t be too hasty. There are three things you need to do first. 1. Do a test fit on the joints for the whole table. (well, at least the base)2. Plane the tapers on the legs after cutting them to length.3. Create the shrinkage buttons that are used to attach the top as well as the mortises in the rails that they join to. Here I am just getting an idea of how the final product is going to look. R...
Mortise and Tenon Before we start on our table, we need to take the time to make a few practice joints. The oldest and strongest joint out there is the mortise and tenon. It’s also the only joint used in this occasional table. I wanted to make a set of bents to show you this but the hickory I had on hand developed quite a few cracks that kind of killed that idea for this weekend (a total drag for me because I really wanted an excuse to make the bents). On the other hand it’s...
Recently I was contacted by MsDebbie to instruct a class on hand work (a big “thank you” to you and the person…you know who you are…who recommended me for the task). The focus is to be on someone who is getting into hand work or just starting and wants to use hand tools only. The whole point was to focus on the basic skills of calorie burning woodwork, quality and efficiency. I plan to start the class in late October which should help students scramble for tools if nee...
If you have planed all your true faces and edges for the table legs, you can now set your marking gauge to the thickness of your legs (they are as wide as they are thick) and do your layout with one setting. Take a second to try a few spots on each board before you mark everything in earnest, find the thinnest spot on the thinnest board and subtract a hair from that…this should be your setting, it should also be fairly close to your story stick, if not, no worries, just get it close. ...
Once you have taken the clamps off of your base and your top you are in that dangerous period I think of as the home stretch. It’s easy to want to run into it. Stop. Sharpen all your tools. Breath. Think…then get back to work. Trust me, if all your tools are sharp and you are in the right mindset this phase of your work will be the most uplifting in your shop; it will be the time you breathe life into your furniture. If you are ill prepared for it you can make frustrating mistakes. Start b...
Occasional Table Class (Hand Tool Build) #2: The Recommended Tool Set, the Whys and Where's (part 1)
Often when galoots get into discussions about tools, the focus is either on planes or saws…sometimes even chisels get some love. What seems to never get as much attention as they deserve are the layout tools. This point mystifies me, because one of the most important skills in handwork is being able to split a line, be it with a plane or a saw. Good layout tools, make sure that your line (and the cut it guides) ends up in the right place. Shown here is a 12” combination squ...
Vintage Tool Rehab Projects #5: Brace yourself: the nuanced differences between restoration and rehabbing
Andy, a prolific contributor to Lumberjocks.com, posted a comprehensive blog series about hand braces. He started his superb tutorial by restoring a hand drill. And his subject was an 8” Skinner brace that he dubbed “Rusty”. A few things immediately piqued my interest: —To my eye, the chuck is beautiful, sporting the lines and curves of a 1960s racecar —I liked the fact that Andy chose to restore the tool versus simply rehabbing it for use. Restoration requires addi...
“My Journey Towards Proficiency.” That’s a lofty statement, isn’t it? Let’s just say it’s a goal I have the intention of reaching at some level, some day. There seems to be a lot of chatter about hand tools in the world of woodworking lately and I am glad it is occurring. As most of you probably know, this can be a decidedly partisan discussion. I don’t want to get into that type of discussion because a person’s tool choice really comes down to what makes them happy and gets th...
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