Month: December 2010

A New Page

I added two new pages to this blog, I had mentioned a while back that I will start having classes here at the shop, click the “Classes” tab at the top of the page for more information and please don’t hesitate to email me any questions. The other is a “Gallery” tab that will continue to grow, most everything on there is in stock and what isn’t can be made. Any one interested in a free three-day ticket to the Wood Working Show at the Timonium Fair Grounds next weekend (mentioned a couple post’s ago) shot me an email and I’ll mail it out to you.

Thanks Joel P. from Upperco MD your ticket is in the mail.

“The plane in question is a 22″ long jointer made by the Maccubin’s in Baltimore”     

And thanks to Mary C. from Monkton for the purchase of the firewood carrier, I’m sure your husband will enjoy the woodworking show.

both sent by email.

There is a good article in Woodwork magazine , the winter 2011 issue, by Toshio Odate titled “The Mighty Oak” I’m probably late to the party I don’t know when it came out I havent been to the magazine stand in a while. It was given to me over the holidays.

Its worth the buy if you see it. Green cover. I had the honor to meet Mr. Odate last year at the woodworking conference in Valley Forge PA. If he was asked about meeting me I’m sure he would say ?huh? but for me it was something I wont forget, you know when you meet someone with an air or presence that you can feel.

Free Tickets!!! Woodworking Shows!

Three day pass, at ten dollars for admission each day it’s a sweet ticket.

 I was asked to give these out using this Blog. Pretty good marketing idea, it draws the attention of the local woodworker and since it’s a traveling show it  puts the tickets in the hands of the woodworker to attend any where in the country for any given show.

The Maryland show will be January 7th to the 9th at the Timonium Fair Grounds.

They have educational opportunities and lots of tools too, you’ll need three days to take advantage of all the “learnin” and get all the questions you have answered. 

I said free but let’s make it a little interesting, the first person to answer a woodworking question gets a three-day pass to the Wood Working and DIY show. I’ll keep doing the question and answer give away until they are gone. Answers can either be sent by email [email protected] or preferably as a reply to the blog  posting.

Or with any purchase I’ll through in a ticket.

 I have lots of firewood carriers 70.00$      

A Cherry Bowl  about 3″ deep  7 1/4 wide 10 1/4 long  85.00$

Click the Gallery tab at the top of the page for coffee tables, and chairs.

Here is the question and don’t forget you can use the search box at the top of the page any time you want to find something on this blog or on other WordPress sites.

How long is the Macubbin jointer plane I won at auction and posted about on this Blog?

The Finished Bed

I put it together one last time and made some cross pieces for the frame, to stiffen it up more than to support the box spring and mattress.

I didn’t use any sandpaper on this project, just hand planes and spoke shave to get it ready for finish. I havent  used sandpaper on anything furniture I’ve made in a long time now and I hope it continues that way. I think it gives a finished look that separates me from the  bigger companies out there, maybe not better, that’s personal preference, but different in a good way.

The Cherry will darken to a rich deep reddish color maybe in less than a year, sun light speeds that up. The Red Oak wont change much just get richer. I oriented the Oak spindles so the ray plane  is facing out, a shiny detail that only the wood can give you.

You get an idea of the contrast in this pic. 

The crest and arm rest’s are Cherry and the spindles are Red Oak, if you click on the picture it will blow up in another window and you can see the contrast a bit better. The seat is Poplar, another wood that darkens considerably with age.

I was up around 4:30 am and thought to look out the window to see the lunar eclipse (thanks Charlotte). It warranted grabbing the camera and snapping a few shots , I wanted to put wood in the furnace to. I went out back in my skivvies, brrrrrr,  and took a bunch of pictures this was the best one……NASA wont be calling any time soon to offer me a photography  job.

You can’t tell from my pictures but it was impressive even though I missed the orange glow, the last recorded lunar eclipse was in the 1600’s, that’s pretty neet to see it now and think about that. I imagine mariners of all walks, pirates and sailors, fisherman and people taking the challenging trip to another land witnessing that in the wee hours of the morning surely they had heard of if not seen it before but what was happening in there lives and what were they thinking while watching such an event? Or in the wood, the joiner just waking to use the outdoor facilities, walking past the pile of fresh shavings from the day before and the sweet tannic smell they produce.

According to my calendar  on december 21st, 2010                                         there was a :

                           full moon 3:13 am EST

                           total lunar eclipse 3:17 am EST

                           winter solstice 6:38 pm EST


We here at corporate wish everyone a wonderful holiday doing the things you want and laughing with friends! Merry Christmas!

Tenon former

I’d like to do some blacksmithing, I keep saying it and never do. When making the Cherry bed I had to tenon the spindles in the head-board there are fifteen so that’s thirty tenons. I have seen this tool in the Lee Valley catalog and of course didn’t want to wait for it to come in the mail. The idea is simple enough to reproduce, executing it may not be but it was worth an hour or two of playing with fire and bending metal. I installed an add-on wood burning furnace a few years ago to heat the house, I can work the vents to act as a blower on a forge and really get some heat up quick. I have some metal rod that came from my grandfather’s house. I held onto it thinking I could make decorative punches with it, it worked great for this. Put it in the furnace till red-hot and simply bend with a couple of pliers,I tried to hammer it around some larger metal pieces in the shop but it didn’t really work the pliers worked best. I always wanted an anvil, that’s one of those things you might not use very often but when you do your so glad you have it. It aint pretty but it does the job.I used some pipe clamps to hold it on my parting tool . The Oak spindles in the head-board are split out from the Red Oak log I have, so after hand planing them square and drying in the kiln I cut the tenon shoulders on the table saw to assure a crisp edge to mate with the top and bottom rail, then chucked them up on the lathe and slowly worked the point of the parting tool into the spinning piece until it would slide between the hook and the point of the turning tool. Using the table saw and this add-on to the parting tool allowed these pieces to fit together real nice. We decided to use bed bolts to attach the rails to the head and foot board. You have to drill a pretty deep hole in the end of the rail to allow for the bolt,standard drill bitts arent long enough but the brace and bit will do it. This is a nice way to attach the side boards,you get the decorative cap that covers the bolt hole, I remember being little and seeing those on my parents bed and thinking it was so neat, hiding something with an ornamental cover. It felt like the cold winter winds were never going to stop around here, day after day it blew, Thank goodness it let up when I needed to spray this thing. I like lacquer because its pretty fool-proof and quick dry time, and the finish looks warm and deep. You can apply it in pretty much any weather, high humidity can be tricky but there has been none of that lately in fact we have had frequent snow showers, that’s good stuff, I like to see it coming down. The barrel is what we put our recyclable’s in for pick up, it’s not left over from my rodeo clown days. Just need to steel wool it and past wax it and she’ll be ready to go.

Cherry Bed

I have been commissioned to make a bed, that’s what I have been working on mostly the last few weeks, had to jump off to do some other small jobs.Its nice to stretch out and make something with large parts and joinery. It gives a different perspective on what you are used to doing and allows one to see better because, for instance, the mortises are bigger you can see that the walls are streight and the bottom flat, the light of day shines in better. I went to Groff And Groff for the Cherry, took the back way up to south Lancaster area, driving past the horse-drawn buggies huffin up the climbs with big puffs of cloudy breath pushing from the nostrils. The old farm houses with the drying laundry pined to a line from the second story window to the corner of the barn. The work horses are the best, I saw up on a hill a silhouette of a huge horse hitched to a wagon and a guy loading it with his fall crop, and another hitched to a manure spreader, I guess its winter wheat, whatever it is it was the greenest of green in that field. After selecting the pieces according to grain orientation and obscenities(knots) I cut them to rough length. Since the rails are so long they had some twist from end to end. I used the winding sticks and a #6 fore plane to flatten one side then ran the other through the planer, unhappy with the results from the planer I trued that surface with the hand plane as well. I guess it didn’t get the twist out good enough for me because the stock is so long. Sometimes me and power tools just don’t agree, I want to work with them, I try to like them, but so often I am going back over the stock with a hand tool and the machining process was a wast of time. For fine work anyway. I couldn’t cut the tenons on the table saw if I wanted to unless I made a big sled to handle the bulky rail, and that would really set me back in the time arena. I looked forward to cutting them by hand, Like I was saying they are so big that you can see what is going on using squares and streight edges with less fussing than on smaller joints. There are two lines marked on this board the outside line is for the length of the rail and the inside marks the shoulder of the tenon. It’s not normally how I would do this but I was trying to keep the grain orientation in the center of the board and from this tenon shoulder I can pull my desired length with my tape, hold my starret square to that mark wich will become my tenon shoulder and knife a line on the other side of the squares edge. My tenons are one inch long and the square is one inch wide,speeds things up just a tad, no tenon to lay out with extra measuring and marking. The first woodworking class I took was in ’95 with John Alexander and Peter Follansbee on making a joint-stool, 16 mortise and tenons in that puppy,we were taught to use a chisel after scoring the marked line with a knife to relieve the material at the tenon shoulder,so when you go in with the saw there is no chance of damaging the shoulder, the saw teeth will be below the edge of the shoulder. Works well, but in my older days and with the help of the internet I sometimes pick up a trick. I saw a video I couldn’t find it to post here I think it was on the Renaissance Woodworker, that showed if you score the line with a knife the saw will want to follow that oh so thin groove and with a sharp saw leave a crisp edge to pull up real tight to the mortise face, Perfect! Then I notch the top and bottom of the tenon and clean it up with my rabbit block plane to fit.