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...
In joinery the fit of your pieces is like the fit of your shoes on your feet. If you can toss your shoes off your feet as you hit the couch, too loose. If you shoe horn them in, perfect. A good fitting joint fits snug. No pounding together but it shouldn’t fall apart either. It’s a balance you learn to achieve by sneaking up on it. Learn to use your shoulder plane and you’ll be happy no matter how you cut a tenon joint. Finesse the fit. The Northwest Woodworking Studio
Below are some pics of a tool box that I made a couple of years back. The wood is alder. This tool box was built to hold a large amount of electrical tools. One day when I was working on top of a high lift the box rolled off of the platform and droped about 10 feet onto a concreet floor. I expected to find it in pieces with 30 pounds of tools scattered about. What I found was an intact tool box with only a couple of cracks in the lid. Wow I thought, finger joints sure are strong. I sanded it ...
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 ...
A few days ago, our neighbors asked to make a simple trellis for their passion flower vine which had collapsed under its weight. I’ve come up with what I think would fit their backyard. It is 6’6” tall, 38” wide. Today I finished cutting the parts with notches and dados for joinery and started gluing them with polyurethane glue. I want to use joinery and glue to avoid a lot of screws as fasteners because the lattice is made of thin stock to keep the whole thing ligh...
I couldn’t resist doing a blog on this. I have no illusions of winning the contest given the competition and since the whole idea of LJ is to share I wanted to do just that. So…no cards close to the chest here…I’m showing my hand. Many of you have seen the bridge in our garden. I built it as a “temporary” solution 8 years ago from some leftover fence. Well it’s starting to show its age and I figure it will be great to kill two birds with one stone....
I am building my first real piece of furniture out of ALL wood. I have made tables, beds and bakers racks, among other things, out of steel and wood with some glass. I have never used nice hardwood and made what I consider fine furniture. I have been working on this cradle for a long time. Not everyday and only a couple hours at a time. I have run into some problems a long the way and have chalked them up to just a learning curve issue. Most could have been avoided with better plannin...
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...
Wow it seems like this is going slow. Work has been busy and finding time to work on this bunk bed is hard. However, I have finished up another step in the bunk bed and that is getting all the mortises chopped out on the ends. There were 12 total and they all went smooth. In this video I show what tools you need to mark your mortises as well as which tools you’ll need to chop out the mortises. Enjoy, comment, share, and give it a thumbs up! View on YouTube
We are a type, we woodworkers. We are tool nuts, junkies. We love our tools. Somebody asked me once how many sets of chisels I have. I said, Only two. I have my old Marples firmer chisels from 1/4” to 3/4” and then my bevel edge Lie-Nielsens. And oh yeah, I have a missed match set of Japanese paring and mortise chisels. And I forgot the 3 or 4 Stanley 750’s I have collected, and the old Stanley butt chisels I bought when I started out. Then there’s those 3 big mortising chis...
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