about a year ago, i moved into a dorm room sized studio. i immediately began conjuring up thoughts of a loft bed to give me more space to set up a small computer building area. i haven’t tried a wood project since middle school (i’m a world saver, not a carpenter), but having someone else do it is not in the budget, plus it could end up poorly done. the only thing worse than buying/making a cheap piece of junk is buying/making an expensive piece of junk. after searching for i...
Making the Workbench with Paul Sellers If the video below is not working please use this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru2ZiNsWek This replicates my personal workbench, one I have used and preferred over all others for, well, actually, half a century. Let’s talk briefly about benches and specifically working workbenches and not images of what a bench should be. Anyone can build any bench type they like, regardless of whether it works well or not, is big and clunky and la...
Due to a change of circumstances in my life, I recently moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Boston, Massachusetts. In the process I lost my garage workshop and gained a very small room in a dingy basement. Due the the space and noise constraints I have decided to try my luck with hand tools instead of the power tools I have relied on in the past. Since my bench was left in Tennessee, I decided that the first thing I needed to build a new workbench. One that was sturdy, solid, hand made, ...
This is where we left off last time—- a basic carcass completed but no tools inside it yet. On a side note, do you prefer to spell it carcass or carcase? I’ve seen it both ways. So now comes the fun part: figuring out how I’m going to fit all these tools into the upper section of tool chest. At this point, I’m not really concerned with my larger hand saws, my specialty planes, mallets etc., but most of the smaller hand tools. It seems like a lot of tools, but if...
I managed to grab a few hours when it wasn’t raining and decided to sharpen Big Joe, the first of my crosscut backsaws. I got ¾ of the way through filing in new teeth and my file gave out. I’ve ordered some more files which should be here early next week, so I’ll return to Big Joe in a future post. I didn’t want to waste the day however, so I decided to sharpen a handsaw instead – a first for me. Some months ago, I restored a couple of 26” Disston D8s. This one is 8PPI (points per in...
I changed the overall dimensions of the bench to accommodate a top that is two feet by four feet. My shop is pretty small so I’m trying to make everything more compact. My first task with the new bench was to create the end assemblies. So, I used a German cross cut handsaw (http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com/24-Hand-Saw-7-TPI-Cross-Cut-Teeth-Germany/productinfo/520-0600/) I ordered from traditional woodworker and got to work. Once I rough-cut the lumber down, I used my new Stanl...
Once your stock is at a working dimension (4 square and final length for the rails an inch overlong for the legs) it’s time to start laying out the joints that will create the base for your table. The joinery used for a good table is a haunched mortise & tenon. There are several great alternatives…but this is a good starting point. For furniture it is important to think of the end result early on. Take a moment to arrange the pieces on your bench so you know at a glance whe...
Now that Obama has been inaugurated, I figure it’s safe to say that we might have a new president. I’ve perceived that he’s rather controversial despite the fact that I’ve tried really hard to ignore current events these last few months. I think I’m to where I care a lot more about a thin, wispy shaving coming off of a well-tuned vintage Stanley plane than what people are predicting about the future of our country. My country, dagnabit, sweet land of liberty! So far, I still have the libe...
Warning: the following is written in my blog’s wierd, arcane style… read at your own risk. Once again the literary blog of Chris Schwartz has stimulated my own (somewhat cranked) chain of consciousness toward the philosophical side of woodworking. “The Schwartz” recently offered a very positive review of Roy Underhill’s newest book (the link is here), which wasn’t fair because I can’t go out and buy it yet, and pre-ordering it only makes me feel like I’m 8 years old and it’s t...
Did you know that saw handle making was a profession in its own right in the 19th century? Young men underwent an apprenticeship lasting 12 months before they could call themselves a saw handle maker. It seems a long time doesn’t it? One year, just to learn how to make a saw handle. However there was quite a lot of detailing to do on a 19th century saw handle. Some features were purely for decoration, whilst others had a distinct function. The handles in the following photograph from two o...
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