On Saturday, I had my last session of Introduction to Japanese Woodworking at Laney College in Oakland, CA. It’s taught by Jay Van Arsdale, an active woodworker working professionally in the Japanese style in the bay area since the 1970’s and the author of a well known book on Shoji. His class is hands down the best woodworking instruction I’ve ever had. If you’re at all interested in hand tool woodworking and are curious about Japanese tools and live somewhere in t...
Have you ever thought about why some saw makers add negative rake to the teeth of their rip saws? I have, but when I was drawing a 12 TPI template in Sketchup to re-tooth my Disston No.5 carcass saw, I realized that adding a touch of rake actually increases the volume of space between the teeth. If you look at a section through a saw file, you’ll see that you have an equilateral triangle (ignoring the rounded corners that define the gullets) and we know that the three angles of a triangle ...
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...
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...
New post on the Little Good Pieces blog – “The Right Tool for the Right Job”: OK, how DO I handle that log? http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com/
Recently I was lucky enough to purchase The Woodrights Shop Season 4 (1984) on DVD and was absolutely treated to a hand tool lovers dream watching the episode featuring the Dominy Workshop. The knowledge of this episode is truly a must see for any hand tool or machine enthusiast wether veteran or beginning in the craft. The show stars Charles Hummel who helped to restore and recreate the original Dominy workshop which now is on display at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, 5105 Kenn...
I did a trade for some woodwork with a guy who had a garage full of lumber and several nice hand tools. Most of the lumber was Oak. I don’t really like working with Oak. But I thought it would be perfect for a bench, and there was enough of it. I got lots of different lengths and widths. Most of it was 3/4”. I forgot to take a “before” photo of the stack but here is a sample: Now I intend to make a nice, sturdy bench, but its going to be more functional than ...
I keep telling myself that I’m not a collector…that I’m not on the slippery slope…and as long as I use them (it shouldn’t really matter if I have more than I actually need) I’m still ok-no intervention required. That said, I thought talk a bit about a couple of of the best hand planes out there for a relatively small amount of $$$. I’m referring to Keen-Kutters “K” series (Not the KK series, they are not the same) The K series (th...
Winters been long and without a shop, or a job to keep me busy I have had a lot of time to revisit all the woodworking magazine and books that I own. not to long ago on one of my sleepless night I ran across a article in a Fine Woodworking book on Proven Shop Tips by Jim Richey based on their methods of work section of their magazine. It was an article on a home made wooden scraper plane by Brady C Blake from Redwood Miss, and based on his ideas I came up with a version of my own, I plan o...
Here’s another practice version of a “Real Asian Style” table. I tried to use traditional Chinese joinery (or at least what I think would be traditional Chinese joinery). Design is as simple as I could possible think of, not waisted as it really should be, no moldings. Material are a few 2×4’s that probably don’t quite have the right proportions. At this stage for me it is really about learning the joinery so I did not bother preparing the stock. I got...
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