Spending time with the hand tool crowd this past weekend brings to mind some ideas about utility. And why not? The right tool for the job depends on many factors like skill, economy, and cost. Not just the quiet of the shop alone gets weight in this decision. How many times does a jig get made on the saw and drill press in order to work later on by hand? These choices we make to use hand tools or powered ones are driven by our need to build work. Sometimes building the product wins at...
I recently made a stone top table with Mortise and Tenon Joinery. I was thinking of making more of these tables, also ~3×3” legs with 1.5” thick aprons would make some pretty sweet work tables out of construction grade pine. Normally I would simply use a router and edge guide to make the mortise, then cut the tenons with a combination of hand tools (to cut shoulders) and bandsaw for the cheeks, then cleaned up with a router plane. However since I want to make multiple tables I figu...
Well, I finally worked up the nerve to finish preparing the panels I glued up in the last entry. I was worried that removing any residual twist/cup/bow from the panel glue-ups would result in very thin panels. I discovered that once I ripped the panels in half (one half for each of the door and wall-mounted component of the cabinet) that there was very little flattening to do on the narrower boards. A bit of hand planing on one face, followed by thickness planing (same method as shown in this...
I complete the three legged stool. In this episode I glue up the seat and eventually the rest of the stool. I shape the legs, install the wedges in the mortise and tenons, sand and finish the stool. Thanks for the support and kind comments! This was a fun project and satisfying to have completed it. Best RegardsChris http://youtu.be/jhUJkumaA18
My friend, Bill Gottesman, and I recently finished writing a note about compound-angle joinery. The math behind the equations for setting up the blade and miter-gauge angles for compound-miter and compound-butt joints is developed. Writing it was our way to figure out compound-angle joinery. There may be simpler ways to do that, but this worked for us. Maybe it will for you too. But you have to have a strong stomach for lots of trigonometry. If you do, here is a link to the note, titled ...
Wait five or ten minutes to clean up your glue squeeze-out from a joint glue-up or lamination. It should be almost plastic and then it will peel right off. On a table top you can use a putty knife or my new discovery, an old chip breaker off a hand plane. It works great. For insides of boxes or cabinets, I use my sharpest chisel. That way if I cut into the wood, it will be a good clean cut. Also the color of the cut will match the wood inside which is always hand planed. Patience is a virt...
In my above video I show how to cut a simple dado joint with basic woodworking hand tools. What is a dado joint used for? A dado joint is used for securing shelves inside cabinets or book shelves. (View the original blog post here). TOOLS THAT YOU’LL NEEDEven though I have a nice tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this video: WORKBENCH:-Sjoberg Elite 2500 Beech Workbench (with o...
The value of a classical education is in the laying of a foundation for your work to follow. One learns joinery in order to learn accuracy plus patience and the myriad ways there are to build. For instance, there are a dozen or more ways to build a box, but each situation requires an evaluation and then a decision. Your decision on joinery will depend upon factors like your knowledge or skill, the available tooling options, economy or speed, enjoyment, and finally how late the project is. [If...
In Pete Dexter’s book Deadwood, Wild Bill Hickok’s partner, Charley Utter, is thinking to himself, “He liked having a drawer, it was a neatness you could see just sliding it open.” Making drawers requires a precision and calm missing from some other jobs around the shop. Cleaning out the dust collector comes to mind. Or hand planing some misbegotten wood like a rowed grain khaya. Drawer building on the other hand needs careful measuring, straight parts, and clear thinking to do a good job....
Think about how you look at others’ work. You don’t look for every mistake. You look at the scope of the project, the effort required. You consider the time spent on design. You see the form, the choice of wood and think about the time taken to mill the lumber. The hours spent on joining pieces together and the detail in the joinery and the weeks spent on shaping and sanding and how the hardware is hung. You step back and look at the whole piece and you know in your heart how much...
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