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Hide glue

Apr. 19th, 2009 01:45 pm
I need to stop fretting about the possibility of hide glue joints coming undone if they get wet. I soaked a botched edge joint, exposed it to steam, and it still required a tremendous amount of force to undo. I suppose this qualifies as "reversible" in a strict technical sense, but if I hadn't botched it it would have been even worse.


Feb. 25th, 2009 12:00 am
It is, like, 12 C outside. I have spent the last few hours milling lumber in a T-shirt and am pouring with sweat. Man, that is hard work.

On the plus side, [ profile] vivianteddybear, your table top is gluing up now.

Holy shit.

Jan. 29th, 2009 10:09 pm

My wooden plane
Originally uploaded by gchpaco
I received a wooden smoothing plane from eBay the other day. I'm guessing late 1800s. Body's split a little in a couple places, wedge is fine, pretty good for something maybe a hundred and fifty years old. I notice the steel sharpens easily, and is in pretty good condition. Finally I get a chance to try it out on my bench outside, beautiful results.

Okay, so a given that it's leaving a glassy surface behind. That's the whole point of it. Just for kicks I took one of the thinner shavings in. This plane, which I adjust by hitting it with a hammer, took a shaving two and a half thousandths of an inch thick, if I am reading my caliper correctly. With a minimum of setup.

Oh, I'm keepin' this one.

End grain cutting board
Originally uploaded by gchpaco
I've had some indication that people want to see more of the woodworking stuff, so I decided to show off the latest thing I've been working on. This is an end grain cutting board in maple for my brother. The groove running around the edge was requested for juices.

Wait, what?

Jan. 6th, 2009 09:02 pm
It turns out I have 8 hammers, with a 9th on the way.

They are, of course, completely different from each other and I will notice immediately if I misplace one. But still.

I wonder if this is how Screamin’ Jay Hawkins felt when they told him he had 55 children (later reckoned to be perhaps as many as 75).

This man is terrifyingly good. He builds 1:12 scale models of furniture that is hard to build at full size. I want to make a crack about too much time on his hands but I don’t have the heart to do it. It’s not like he’s only done this one thing, he does them all the time. He also does his own hardware (of necessity, it’s not like you can just go out and buy a ¼″ copy of a 3″ plate. The keys for his locks are so tiny they are dwarfed by the tweezers he’s using to hold them, and yet the lock works.
I got from my family a felt buffing wheel some months ago. For a variety of reasons I didn’t bother installing it until today.

I am regretting that delay now. With the right honing compound it gets better edges faster than my waterstones + stropping. It’s not as good at keeping the edge straight as my waterstones are, but damn is it effective. I sharpened a chisel and put it back in my leather tool roll and it effortlessly punched through the leather and out one side.

I am simultaneously delighted by this and terrified of what will happen if I slip with that chisel. I’m gonna start counting all my fingers after working with it, because with it that sharp I’ll never know if it cut me.

(no subject)

Sep. 25th, 2008 11:32 pm
Joel Moskowitz on Spear & Jackson's laser guided saw:
I already have a laser-guided pencil, what more does one need? -Ed
A laser guided laser. That way you can make sure your laser is pointed correctly.

Lathe! Again!

Sep. 25th, 2008 07:25 pm
I finally tested the new centers on my lathe (ground on a drill press) and they appear to work. I even get catches now. So now that the lathe is finally totally usable, I'm finally going to get started on making those chisel handles for Dad. Real Soon Now. Yeah.


Aug. 30th, 2008 05:56 am
I made a box tonight! As of, about 12 hours ago, it was a board, and now it is gluing up. It is not a pretty box, nor does it serve any particular purpose in mind save education, but it is my box and it is the first object I have ever done dovetails in (as opposed to practicing them on scrap wood). Naturally, there are many important lessons I have learned today. But the most important one is this:
  • Just because it came off a power panel saw does not mean that it is square.
  • Other lessons )
I have no idea what I am going to do with my new box when it finishes gluing. It is not the prettiest thing in the world and I am tempted to burn it, but perhaps I can find something less pyromaniacal to do with it, like store my waterstones in it or something. I do like working with poplar, though; pity it's so ugly.


Aug. 25th, 2008 05:56 pm
I just got the lumber in for a remake of my brother’s table (I concluded the old surface was too warped to be worth trying to rescue, and called it a $50 exercise in “face joint the lumber before you glue it up, moron”). I got it from Bell Forest Products, requested 10 board feet and could they please make the boards all about the same length, and thought nothing of it. It came in today. Each of the three boards is 10″ across; you usually pay a premium for this, so it has me really flabbergasted. And it's pretty, too.

Definitely no more shopping at Sabobo for me.

(no subject)

Aug. 20th, 2008 07:35 pm
Three-minute dovetails with Frank Klausz. Seriously, it takes this guy less time to cut those out than it does for me to find my marking gauge to start. Most instructions for dovetailing involve farting around with a sliding bevel to make sure that all the angles are the same, but he just eyeballs it (and I should, too; the angle isn’t that critical). I want one of those bow saw blades with the 90° bend in it, but I’m under no illusions that one of them would let me do what he does here. Jesus.

If you haven’t seen him before, Klausz is a Hungarian (I think?) carpenter who immigrated and now does custom furniture here. He is one of the best known craftsmen in the field at the moment, and takes the job of teaching seriously.

Lathe complete

Aug. 1st, 2008 11:07 am
I have as of now completed my spring-pole lathe. As it happens my initial design for both the pedal and the poppets was flawed; an alternate design made everything better. All I can think of that it really needs now is maybe a leather strap for drive instead of the rope I’m currently using. Pictures when I have the energy (i.e. not now). I have tested it, of course (which is how I discovered the above flaws); I suck, but that’s expected for it being my first couple of hours ever.

Turning on a spring pole lathe is apparently quite different from using a normal lathe. For one thing, catches aren’t as big a deal because the thing can only rotate so far in one direction. At the same time planing a cylinder isn’t trivial. I suspect my books are only going to be so useful in learning how to do this thing, and that I’m going to have to teach myself most of it (which is fine, honestly).

(Grr: posted now because Cox is being moronic; I finished it last night)


Jul. 22nd, 2008 08:51 pm
My dedicated turning tools came today. They’re, uh, big. But hopefully I will pick the art up reasonably quickly. My pole lathe is nearly assembled, and while it won’t win any awards (one of the 2x4s looked like a Twizzler after it was done drying out o.O; this has caused some construction headaches) I think it will work as a lathe, which is what I want of it.

With a little luck I might have it completed this weekend.

Rather than go to crown, I “opted” to spend Saturday sleeping for like 12 hours and today after mysteriously being totally unable to get to sleep last night working on my workbench. I installed one vise and got about half the work done on the other; soon I will have a workbench, and soon after that a lathe. But right now, I’m tired.


Mar. 24th, 2008 09:56 pm
One pair of the legs for the bench is being glued together. Yay. I might actually get it on its feet and start installing the vises this week, if work permits. Wedged mortise & tenon joinery is actually surprisingly simple, as it turns out; however I should note that I have a lot of tools specialized for that at this point.

Chisel review

Mar. 24th, 2008 07:54 pm
I doubt any of you really care, but in case the Semantic Web comes to exist tomorrow I’d like prospective purchasers to be able to see my impressions of the tools. Capsule version: between the two of them I cut the first tight fitting mortise and tenon I’ve ever done. So I like ‘em.
Chisel photo Ray Iles 3/8″ mortising chisel

When I recieved this in the mail it became instantly obvious why chisels of this design are referred to as pigstickers. It is simply enormous, but enormous in a good way. I didn’t get a chance until today to cut a test mortise with it, but after honing it cut through the Douglas fir I had smoothly and quickly, and vastly better than the firmer I had repurposed as a mortiser, let alone my bench chisels.

If I had to complain about anything, it’s actually a little too big; I have big hands and have a little trouble sometimes controlling the damn thing. But there’s a reason it’s that big, and I'm not willing to sacrifice that for minor conveniences.

Would I buy another, at $70 a shot or so? Heck yes. In fact I have another on order, the 1/4″ version.


Review by Graham Hughes, March 24th

Saw photo Lie-Nielsen Coarse Rip Carcass Saw

This is a 10 ppi version of Lie-Nielsen’s carcass saw, which I bought for use as a tenon saw. I think it would probably be classified as a sash saw around 1920, but whatever. I don’t like that Lie-Nielsen uses split nuts (which require a special tool you can get by regrinding a screwdriver), but I can’t complain about anything else on the tool. The curly maple handle is quite attractive. But I didn’t buy the saw to look at it.

As far as actually sawing, I have nothing to complain about. It saws quickly, easily and accurately, and (with the mortising chisel above) helped me cut probably the best mortise & tenon joint I think I’ve ever done.

There are some other tenon saws available, for example the Pax or the Adria. I have no experience with them, although the Pax saws I do have are delightful. In this case I knew I wanted something a little on the coarse side, and the Pax and Adria are all 13 tpi (12 ppi).

I’m pretty happy with the saw as it is, and as I break it in it will apparently become even better. I’m sure it was worthwhile buying some sort of tenon saw, as my Pax dovetail saw is not really coarse enough to make for a good tenon saw.


Review by Graham Hughes, March 24th


Mar. 22nd, 2008 05:23 pm
I received a traditional English style pigsticker mortising chisel today. It’s somewhat difficult to really convey my impressions of the thing in text, so have some photos instead.

some photos of chisels )

I haven’t had cause to use it yet, although I will soon, but all the reviews I have of the beast say it’s the best mortising chisel currently on the market, and every bit as good as the old mortising chisels of yore.


Mar. 10th, 2008 07:36 pm
I have three axes in the house now; the ‘utility’ axe I borrowed from [ profile] dr_mrow and refurbished, and now two hatchets. I just tested the new pair on some fir cutoffs, and they cut fine after I reground the damned edge.

I hear the cry already: why in the name of ghod do you have more than one axe, let alone even one? There’s a long reason for this that I will gleefully tell you all about if you are fool enough to ask, but basically “they’re good for different things”.

Why I have any axes at all I haven’t totally sorted out yet…

For those of you who weren’t there to witness it, my #7 jointer’s tote self-destructed on me at collegium. I’ve hated that handle since I got the plane, so replacing it was an easy decision. Today I got the replacement in the mail; my jointer is complete again. Whole. Useful.

Now to go to the library and write.