This is the first of a monthly feature we are calling “How I Wood Do It” each month a few of us bloggers will be posting how we would do a different technique in our shops. Hopefully this will give you, our readers a different point of reference on a simple techniques. Well lets get to it shall we.
The Half Lap Joint
- I first make sure the sides and face are planed flat and square and put a X on my reference face and edge.
- Then I find center with my marking gauge.
|Setting the marking gage for center|
- I do this by marking a dot from each side then by trusting my eye to judge center I readjusting my gauge to the center then checking it from each side again and repeating again if needed, the more you practice this the better you will get at doing it in just a couple of try’s.
|Checking the right side|
|Checking from the left side|
- I then mark three lines on both boards, one on each side and the end the board, and then square a line the width of my boards from the end. marking from my references face which I always layout from I also mark the waste on my reference side.
|The waste marked with an X|
|Both sides laid out|
- I saw down the waste side of the line, and then crosscut across following my squared lines until the piece falls out
|Starting the rip|
|Following the line down to the crosscut|
|Following the line|
|Defining the line|
|Finishing the cut|
- I then use a shoulder plane to clean up and adjust the lap joint till it fits.
|Adjusting with a plane|
|Easier to plane when they are clamped side by side|
- My power tools solution since is to use my band saw. again I make sure the sides are planed straight and all the layout is the same as using a handsaw
|Crosscutting on the bandsaw|
|Ripping on the bandsaw|
|Ripping the the 2nd lap on the bandsaw|
- I carefully cut the crosscut till I get down to my layout line then I rip it on the waste side till the scrape falls out then I clean and fit it with a shoulder plane. if I had more than a few to do I would set up a fence for this part with the waste side toward the fence.
|Checking the fit|
|Clamped together @ 90 degrees|
Next Month we will be doing “Mortises”
Below are some of the other Blogger and Podcaster that will be joining in this monthly feature next month will be the official start and not ever person on this list will be able to participate each month, but hopefully enough will that we will get a wide variety of experience and insights that we will all learn something. As other bloggers join in I will add links to their sites so you can just post though to them right and each bloggers will do the same making it easy to find all the postings. If you are a blogger or a podcaster and you would like to participate let me and I will give you the details.
Oldwolf Workshop Studio
This year was my first Woodworking In America, and I thought I would share a few thoughts with everyone. I went as a volunteer this year to run a camera for Ron Herman’s first two sessions classes, which worked out good for me because that as two of the classes I wanted to attend. The classes was combination planes and shooting boards. both subject Ron is very knowledgeable in. I had some technical problems like when I first got in the class room there was no camera and when I went out to see if I could find out where I could get one someone just drop a camera off back in the class without even giving me a few minutes of instruction in the operation of the camera or telling me if they wanted me to record the class. so I got everything working and faked it until I made it, all the while trying my best to to stay out of Ron’s way and using the camera when it was needed. I wish there would of been more chance for hands on, but I can see where the amount of people who attend and time we had how it would be a problem.
The classes where interesting and informative, but they where short and kind of like a condense lecture that went over mostly material that we have gotten from the magazines over the years. Now I am not saying they wasn’t interesting and they there wasn’t nothing to learn, because that not true it’s just there was small nuggets of information about lots of different things to learn there. If you where going to just learn something like say, how to improve cutting dovetails while you might get some great tips I think you would come away disappointed overall and would better off spending your money on a class at Chuck Benders school. Now if you when there wanting expand your ideas about woodworking in general, and meet some great guys, see wonderful tools and have just a fun filled weekend talking, eating, and drinking woodworking, then you surly won’t be disappointed as I wasn’t.
Like I said the classes where interesting and informative, but the market place was where all the action was. there where some wonderful tools that honestly as a tradesman I could never afford to own, but they where fun to play with. The toolmaker where great to talk and are a wealth of information. There was a mix of power tools and hand tools I even saw some air nailers and the neatest air brush by Grex. Getting a chance to talk to guys like Chris Wong who makes top escapement hollow and round planes, and Shannon at the Hand Tool School, and of course the guys at Lee Valley was a treat for me and my wife.
The hand tool Olympics had to be funniest spot on the floor, the guys and girls that works that event not only are friendly and helpful they have a great sense of humor. I really have to say I haven laugh as much that weekend as I did standing around ribbing the other bloggers as they cut their dovetails. I even stepped up and cut the first hand cut dovetail I have cut in twenty five years, and to be honest I have been rethinking using my router and start cutting them by hand. maybe? but the point is if I wouldn’t of tried them there I would even be considering it now.
The best thing about Woodworking In America for me was the people. This was the first time I have had a chance to meet most of the bloggers that I talk to on google, twitter or face-book and read their blog’s everday. I had a chance to meet and talk face to face with these guy, to laugh and drink with them, and now I feel like I made some friends that will last a life time even if I never see them again in person.
Will I go back? well I all ready started a coin jar and I’m saving for WIA12, and even if I don’t get to go back as a volunteer I will find a way to get there somehow.
“Kreg Deck Screws were designed specifically for use with the Kreg Deck Jig™, although they can also be used as simple face-screws for a variety of outdoor projects. All Kreg Deck screws feature a KTX #1 Square Drive to reduce cam-out, a flat-bottom head which resists splitting, and a self-tapping tip which drills its own hole as it’s driven.
Deck Screws are available in two weather resistant finishes; Protec-Kote™ and Stainless. Protec-Kote™ screws feature three anti-corrosion layers which protect against rusting in a wide variety of decking applications. A good choice for a wide variety of decking applications, including ACQ treated lumber. For even more protection, choose Stainless. Kreg Stainless screws provide the best protection against corrosion in the long-term”
Gold! if you love wood as much as these guys who own and use these band-mill saw mills do it might as well be gold. As a woodworker it is more precious than gold, I mean what lumber store can a woodworker walk in to and get a piece of stag-horn sumac, yes thats what I said stag-horn sumac, or redbud, gold brother, pure gold.
I first met Randy at a guild show where he was selling frames that he makes from some of the wood that he saws, he picks out some of the best looking cuts and then makes them into a frame and places a picture of the tree from the specie of wood that frame is made of. It is a very nice piece of art both wood and photograph. After talking his frames for a couple of moments and he started telling me about his saw mill which got my attention, because like all woodworker I am always looking for a good source of wood and from Randy’s frames I could see he would be a great source for lumber. He said he cuts a lot of quarter sawn and burls which is two things I am always looking for. I ask Randy were he gets is logs and he told me that he manages his own small forest on his farm where he cuts logs, plus he will harvest logs from neighbors farms, firewood, and what loggers leave behind after they cut a stand of timber. He said some of his best and prettiest wood comes from what the logging companies leave on the ground to rot. The logging companies are looking for the straightest highest graded lumber they can get and anything with a deformity, twist, or big burls get left my most logging companies and he can get them at a nominal price or some time even free.
Later I attended a class he gave on saw mills, where he explained how he saws for the best results, he showed how he loads logs on the mill and set them up cutting the different cut like: flat sawn, riff sawn, and quarter sawn. how to calculate board feet in a log, and he touched on drying and sticking his lumber, but said that was really another class. One of the best things about the class is I got to meet a couple more local owners of saw mills and one is not far from my house, and he has a solar kiln.
Lately I have gotten interested in making stringed instruments and I have found in that community that there is a need for high quality wood, so I am thinking about selling wood for instruments and have talked to the one mill owner about doing some special sawing for me, then I plan on doing the drying and milling of parts and then offering the wood and parts for sale online. I know I won’t get rich doing it but hey in these times you have to think outside the box.
I have been doing a lot of carving this winter, and not a lot of writing, sorry about that to five people that read my blog. I did however discover that sometimes while I am caving I need something to use to get a little more forceful with my chisels than just my palms. I tried using a hammer, I tried the face and the side, while this worked it wasn’t idea for what I was doing.
I have a large wooden mallet and it is great when I am working with my flat chisels, but there again it is to big for fine carving and didn’t give me the control I needed, plus I found that I had to spend more time watching the mallet rather than my chisel so I didn’t whack myself in the hand. My hands have taken enough abuse in thirty years of working as a carpenter and cabinetmaker so I didn’t really think they needed any more at this point.
The answer to my problem was one of those nice little brass mallets you see in all the catalogs, except they cost way more than I really had to spend. the cheapest one I seen being like $69 dollars and if I was going to drop that kind of money it was going to be on something with a edge, really I could buy two nice gouges for that.
Well one day last week I was out at the Goodwill with my wife shopping and I saw a little wooden handle that went to and mortal and pedestal and it was 50 cents and it looked just like the handle on the brass mallet I was saw in the catalog, so I put in the cart figuring I would go and try to find some brass and make my own.
Well the next stop was to the Tractor Supple Warehouse were we need some things for our animals and some bolts. While we were walking around the store looking I spotted a bushing in the tractor section that looked like it would work perfect for the metal part of the mallet, it was about the right size and weight and only $2.49, so I put in the cart. That night after about five minutes worth of whittling to get the handle to fit inside the bushing I then cut a slot for a wedge and I epoxied it all together. The next day I cleaned off any squeeze out I had and cut the end flush with the top. Now I have a great little mallet that I have been using and the best part is it only cost me $3.00 and I made it myself, now I know I got lucky finding that handle, but a dowel rod would work just as well, or if your a turner or know a turner then you could make on in no time. They had some other sizes bushing at the store if you wanted a heavier mallet. Even though they are not brass and they are harden steel they will work fine as long as your not hitting steel against steel, and since all my chisels are wood handled or plastic I think I am ok. If anyone has any question feel free to E-mail me and I’ll do my best to answer them
I finally finished my bench that I started on back at the end of summer. It now sit in my living room next to my computer desk where when I want to do some woodworking I can just get up and go for it, now since I live in an apartment that is carpeted working with just my handtools is the only option inside. This has giving me some time to really reconnect with what I fell in love with about woodworking in the first place. The intimacy of the work! When I’m carving or I am working a joint with some handtools I am totally involved with the work I am 100% focused on what I am doing, I am concentrating on this part till it is finished then moving on to the next part and so on thought the piece. This process let me enjoy the tools as well as the work.
Now, if you have ever worked on a large job especially if you are building that job in your own shop and you are responsible for the finished product being able the enjoy the process is a real pleasure. Normally if I am building a big job, say like a kitchen or a large set or office cabinets, I have show much on my mind that I stop finding pleasure in working with my tools any more. Instead my mind full of all the what ifs? This time is always being taken up by worry, I worry about all the many pieces of the job coming together. I worry about if I planed well enough. I worry about did I cover every thing in my bids. I worry about will the finish match the samples. I worry about did I do the take off right. I worry about will there be any delays in my material schedule and what will I do if there is. I worry that the architect or home owner will change something and not tell me. oh god I hope none of the carpenters on the job screwed anything up. I worry about getting sick or hurt. oh no my saw sounds funny I hope the bearings don’t go out on me. The worry can just go on and on and on where just enjoying the simple process of building a fine piece of furniture or cabinets is no longer a pleasure. All the things I mentions above have happened to me at one time or another and while I learned to deal with them they always stick in my head as a constant little worry.
Now, I stand at this new bench, and use my hand tools just like when I was a boy, none of the old worries come to my mind, and again I find that I am 100% there with just that tool and that piece of wood. The rest of world just faded away and when I do screw up I get me another cup of coffee and sit at my computer and plan how I’m going fix it.
What I build now I build for me, and I am the only one I have to please and my pleasure comes from the wood and the tools and the journey to the finished piece but not the finished piece.
This is my entry for the Sawdust Chronicle’s, 2010 Build Challenge it is a 25″ x 25″ x 18″ Cherry and Walnut table (Surfaces).
Well, since Sunday October 24th, I have manged to finish my table for the Sawdust Chronicle’s Build Challenge. Well actually I build two tables the first one was a prototype that gave me the inspiration for the final design on my second table.
|matching wood grains|
|splines cut in miters|
|smoothing out saw marks|
|homemade wedge vice|
|shooting the foots|
I was going for lots interesting surfaces and negative spaces. I could made the intersection of the V on the legs a 90 degrees, but that would of gave me a square and I was going more for a diamond. so I cut the miters at 52 degrees and then splined them together for strength. I used oak and ran the oak at a 90 degrees to the spline so it wouldn’t split down the grain line. Next the two V sections are halve lap together at the mid point, but not all the way. I cut the lap at 3/16 in both sections so that there would be a 3/8″ step giving the legs the appearance that they are 1 1/8 ” thick. I added a cove to soften the angles and added the walnut piece to highlight the diamond. Where the V sections are joint there are two 1″ sq rails that connect the two leg section.u
The top is a piece of 3/4″ plywood trimmed in cherry with a band of pine and in the center is a piece of walnut burl, I order some more decorative banding that I had planned on using, but it didn’t come in the mail in time, so I used the pine because it is what I had on hand. Maybe one day I will route in the banding and do a in lay in the center, because my wife has all ready said this is her table.
2 bdft cherry,
3 ft 1/2 x 3/8″ of walnut,
4 ft 1/2 x 1/4 pine,
4 sq ft of walnut burl
4 sq ft of 3/4 plywood
all of which cost me $ 5.00 at an auction I went to last year, I spent $11 on finish, I ended up using Minwax’s Wipe-on Poly. I did manage to buy two wooden shoulder planes that I used for this project and a Stanley #45 that I didn’t use, (but don’t tell my wife) all for $30.00
|trimming the top|
The biggest challenge besides designing which was a lot of fun for me, has been working without a shop. I build both of these table out side or when I could inside sitting at our craft table by my computer.I carry my tools outside and set them up, do my work then pick everything up and bring it back in. I do most of the big and messy stuff outside and inside I cut all the small parts with a hand saw and then adjusted miters with a shooting board. The day I planned on doing all the joinery was the day we had the tornado’s and we lost power all day so I ended up doing all the joinery with handtools, which was ok with me accept the wind was blowing and it was cold, reminded me of my days as a carpenter. All in all I have really enjoyed this challenge although I wouldn’t recommend waiting till the last week to change your mind and start over, but working under them kinds of deadlines are really nothing new to me actually I think I work better that way sometimes. I hope everyone that entered has enjoyed themselves as much as I have and got something out of this I know I did and I just want to say Thanks to Rick and Neil for all you guys have done.
This is my first design a folding saw stand
|my 1st design|
I did want to mention my prototype table or my Z table as I call it. it was what had in mind at first. living in a small apt I just wasn’t sure what to build that we need and my plan for it was to use it as a saw table for my portable table saw. after I got it build my wife borrowed it for some crafts she was making for the craft show we were in on Oct 23, so I never did get to use it for my saw, but she tells me it works great. It folds up nice and flat and will hold my weight which is pretty good, I have a couple of tweaks I want to make on it, but will have to wait till next week.
The design is a good one and it can be made into a nicer looking table for camping, patios, or for just for a tool stands.
|without the top for a better view|
|finally in use|
|the finished prototype or Z table|
Thanks for looking, and I hope everyone enjoyed my little tables and have a peaceful day.
Just wanted to drop an update to let everyone know I am still plugging away at my table for the Sawdust Build Challenge, I did change what I was planning building, after building the mock up I got inspired to build a higher quality piece. Not that my Z table isn’t, it’s just I designed it to hold my portable table saw and I build it out of 2 x 4s and plywood, nothing I would really want to enter in a contest, I know then why enter right, well it was all about the design challenge for me. I live in a small apt and didn’t really need any more furniture that I could think of at the time, so I went with the fold up saw table. Then when I learned that the winner can have his piece shown at the New England Home Show, well I thought it might be a good idea to build a nicer piece.
So a couple of weeks ago I designed what I am calling my X table, it was inspired by my Z table, but a lot nicer. I cut most the piece last week and then had to put them away while I finished up some work on some wooden crafts my wife and I where doing for a craft show this pass weekend. We did OK, I got a couple of commissions for things and a sold a custom flute.
Today I did get the legs all glued up, and tomorrow I hope to finish the half laps and get most the base out of my way, the top is mostly done I still have some fusing to do with it, but what has my butt in a kink is doing the finish. I work outside in the yard and it has been so windy I might have to use oil instead of the water base poly that I was planning, or find someone who will let me use their shop to spray it in.