In the last shop update, I briefly mentioned a grooving plane that did not work so well. The idea was to have a tool that could quickly make the grooves in the bottom of draw and box stock to accept the drawer/box bottom. The new design really rocks, so much that I made three sizes (widths): 1/8”, 3/16”, 1/4”. Although these are intended for making the grooves on drawer and box sides, I have been discovering more uses for the flexible design of these planes: Shop Jou...
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...
Well, the temperature in MN has turned to normal for this time of year, from the 40s to the teens, and working in my garage has slowed a bit. On top of that both my wife and a friend have asked for other projects, which of course, I am happy to put in line after this one. But it is cold in the garage (workshop) and metal planes rob heat from the hands faster than a politician with a sweet tooth grabbing a lollipop from a child! Progress must continue. So I will start work on the apron, I ...
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...
I am considering offering a new special for those who would like to take my Maloof-style rocking chair class. After talking to a number of woodworkers, I have come up with a “class bundle” offer for a week of instruction on rocking chair science. If at least six (6) woodworkers sign up for any week-long (5 days) “class bundle,” then, by a drawing, one of those woodworkers will receive that “class bundle” for FREE. Included in the five-day (Monday t...
Lately I’ve really been getting into hand tools. I asked for a few Japanese chisels for Christmas (one each from a few different people in the family.) I ended up with a set of four from Woodcraft. I decided that this collection was worthy of family heirloom status so I had them laser engraved and built a box to keep them in. I have always had a fascination with Japanese culture, art and woodworking. Lately I have been reading Japanese Woodworking Tools, Their Tradition, Spir...
I was poking around Craig’s List when a garage sale caught my eye. The pictures were a woodworker’s dream. They featured lots, and I mean LOTS of hand tools. So I finished up my work and headed over there late Friday afternoon. All the better to root out the best pickings. The people running the sale were friendly and the place was loaded with tools as advertised. Apparently the gentleman’s father had recently passed away after a long career as a carpenter. I started m...
Falling BehindThe class is about halfway through with an agenda of the following:Sharpen four chiselsSharpen a card scraperTune and Sharpen a Smooth PlaneTune and Sharpen a block planeS4S boards with hand toolsCut DovetailsMake dovetailed box with mortise and tenon handle. So far we have finished our chisels and card scraper and worked a bit with the chisels. Our instructor has given demos on how to tune a plane as well. Sharpening A Card ScraperFor the last two weeks Kristin and I have...
10 years or more ago, I bought a bunch of Bessey clamps on sale at Rockler Woodworking. In the years that followed, I subscribed to Woodworker’s Journal for a few years, Woodsmith for a few years. Bought (and sold) the Woodsmith Time-Life book collection. But I never really built anything, at least not anything I’d wanted to build. I’ve always lacked many of the tools and shop space and working on anything was a frustrating, compromised experience. Well now I’m marr...
I have actually had the bench in this stage since early September when my father in law was in town to give me a hand in mounting the top, beam and all, to the sled. It went on just right the first time which was rewarding, until I looked closer at the planing beam pipes and realized I was going to have to make some adjustments on the alignment holes in the top. After several go ‘rounds, we finally got that into a workable solution. Then I raised the planing beam only to discover it ...
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