Month: November 2012


As mentioned in the last post I started another settee, # 4. This will be the fourth one in three years. I want to make a few a year really one a month would be cool. They take about sixty hours to make. It’s very old school, the rout I take to achieve this.

I use the table saw, band saw and planer some but the majority of work is detail work.To me detail work involves hand tools and there are a lot of parts to these guys so your going over each piece a few times with different tools. I like this process, you start with the freshly cut tree, split out and prep your parts. Its the best when I have a surplus of stuff roughed out and dried down then its like going to a stocked kitchen and mix and match or come up with something different all together.


That said I am always open to speed the process up with out loosing much of the connection that doing things without power tools gives you. keeping it real to what it is, made from our natural surroundings to aid in our everyday to make us more comfortable and close to our natural surroundings.

I had some stainless steel plate cut for me over the summer to use on the boat where the outboard motor through bolts the transom.The washers and nuts were stressing the fiberglass too much and the force needed to be spread over a larger area. These pieces are to thick , had to go with thinner stock and it worked great, better than the thick 3/8″ ones would have. Expensive mistake so I’m glad to use the stuff up.

The tenons for the back spindles are 1/2″ in the seat and 3/8″ in the crest, there are 19 of them and its very time consuming fitting them with the spoke shave. By drilling a hole in the metal plate and then pounding with a heavy mallet the same size as the hole spindle( like a 1/2″ square) through a 1/2″ hole you get a dowel the size of the hole in the plate. I worked ok for the 3/8″ tenon but the 1/2″was still to big. Better too big than small. I drill with a brace and the bits I use are Irwin, they are a little bigger than a standard drill bit by a 32nd. the twist drill was 1/2 if I pounded them they would be loose so I made those at the shaving horse. It’s a good reference point to work from and that speeds thing up but isn’t the silver bullet to a perfect tenon every time. Just need to fiddle with other drill bits.

If you use hand tools regularly you need to sharpen a lot if you sharpen a lot you need to flatten your sharpening stones a lot. I have struggled and wasted time and stones throughout the years in the flattening process.Last year I bough the DMT lapping plate and it has saved me so much time, energy and most of all frustration, sharpening isn’t such an ordeal anymore. Cris Schwarz posted about his an you know it gets a workout.


Have you ever seen something that just blows you away!? Then to actually get said thing can be the best ever! doesn’t happen much but if you put yourself out there with an open mind wild things can come. Here’s hoping we all get a taste of the giant coookie.That’s all I got… I wanted to share this cookie moment.


This is a great pic, young Stevie and Ray, candid shots like this I love, makes me wish I could be there.

So I started another settee or “bench”




a seat for two or more persons, having a back and usually arms, and often upholstered.
1710–20;  perhaps variant of settle2
That’s simple enough, mine are never upholstered though.
 Then you got your bench, I use a bench to work on, it’s the most used tool or thing in my shop and any hand tool woodworker would be a little lost having to use someone else’s. Settee seems to be such an old world term, a bit stuffy even but bench with so many definitions has been around longer.
Bench— n
1. a long seat for more than one person, usually lacking a back or arms
2. a plain stout worktable
3. ( sometimes capital ) the bench
a. a judge or magistrate sitting in court in a judicial capacity
b. judges or magistrates collectively
4. sport  the seat on which reserve players and officials sit during a game
5. geology  a flat narrow platform of land, esp one marking a former shoreline
6. a ledge in a mine or quarry from which work is carried out
7. (in a gymnasium) a low table, which may be inclined, used for various exercises
8. a platform on which dogs or other domestic animals are exhibited at shows
9. ( NZ ) a hollow on a hillside formed by sheep
10. to provide with benches
11. to exhibit (a dog, etc) at a show
12. ( NZ ) to form (a track) up a hill by excavating a flattened area
13. ( US ), ( Canadian ) sport  to take or keep (a player) out of a game, often for disciplinary reasons
before 1000; Middle English, Old English benc;  cognate with Old Frisian benk, Old Saxon, Dutch, Old High German bank, Old Norse bekkr  < Germanic *bank-i-; see bank1
Any way I started another settee the other day. Dished the seat with the adze, inshave and travisher , by the way the pine for this seat was about two hundred years old when cut down a few years ago, beautiful stuff.
 Drilling the leg mortises into the seat using sighting aids- lines and a bevel gauge and square.
The legs and stretchers are made and drilled, still a long way to go.
I went to Davidsonville Maryland the other week to present a green woodworking demo at the Annapolis woodworkers guild. It was getting down to the wire with having some wood to take, I’ve had a tough time getting any suitable Oak logs this year. But thanks to Hurricane Sandy I have a few leads on blow downs, this one came from my father-in-laws just in time for the demo.
The other day I was doing firewood with the splitter and came across some figured red oak unexpectedly and it split surprisingly straight and predictable so I set a few aside for foot rest on the three legged stools.
                                           Keep your eyes on the prize!
“It mattered little what the weather was and scarcely more as to the time of the year, John Pike must have his fishing every day and on Sundays he read about it and made flies. All the rest of the time he was thinking about it. ” – R.D. Blackmore


Weird really weird. If you have visited this site lately you could not view the pages I created, the home page came up but the rest were generic. Talked to the good people at Blue Host and after a little head scratching they figured it a hack job gone wrong , they messed up the permalinks to this site before they could do any ?hacking? so says the tech’s.

Is that really what the kids do these days for mischief? or is it some guy in his moms basement? Dude pick up a hand plane and learn how to make it sing then make something original and cool.

More post to come.