After far too long – we finished!

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A few shots of the Mr. Rogers’ bench. It took rather a while but we did finally finish the knit cover.

Here’s the first post regarding this bench : After far too long…

My lovely wife used a brioche stitch, using several colors of Brown Sheep Lambs Pride worsted weight wool.

As for the benchtop, I ended up adding a slight back-bevel to the edges (visible in the first image) and some of the pigmented white oil finish from Woca (http://www.wocadirect.com/master-oil/), which I highly recommend (on ash, anyway). The porous ash picks up the pigment nicely, it doesn’t stink, and it went on nicely. Really nice look, in my opinion.

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Coat Rack

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Just a couple quick shots of a new coat rack. Along with one showing why said rack was desperately needed.

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Just a plainsawn walnut plank, with walnut 3/4″ dowels. Nothing fancy. Hidden french cleats to hold it up. Oil finish. 10 degree tilt on the pegs, 5 degree back-bevel on the sides of the plank.

Winding sticks – finished

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I cut a shallow rabbet for the inlay.

I happened to find reasonably priced stripe inlay at my local Woodcraft store.

Trimmed the ends on the shooting board

Chiseled shallow mortises for center markers

I chose to make the markers one chisel width wide, spaced at center, 10 and 20 inches. I’m hoping this spacing will work well for stock widths up to the full width of the sticks.
Once the markers were glued in, I planed it all nicely flush, then trued the upper and lower faces.

Et finis

An example – planing stops

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I’ve discovered that the wooden fences I bought from Veritas could use a little flattening.

It happens to be a good example of why I’ve gone with my somewhat unorthodox arrangement of planing stops.

The fence is quite small, and thin, but nestles nicely into the corner. And the stops are a bit thinner.

The plane didn’t strike the stops, the work sat still. Flattened and reassembled.

Winding sticks – first steps

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I’ve started turning a piece of walnut stock I had on hand into a pair of winding sticks.

I’ll inlay the sticks, a bit like http://www.walkemooretools.com/winding-sticks/, for better visibility.

The first step is simply to plane the stock square, rip it in two, and then re-true it.

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This 2nd image is of one end, with about 80% of the rip cut made. The other end is still joined, and you can see that the two pieces have twisted a bit as I rip them. The half further from the camera has lifted up, by perhaps 1/32nd or so.

Fortunately the two pieces are still reasonably flat after ripping – they didn’t twist too badly. Not as flat as they were, but not bad. I’ll let them sit a while, then take the plane to them again.

Planing Beam – Finished

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(This is the third and final post on this subject. The earlier posts about this planing beam are here :  A bench of sorts, a planing beam of sorts and Planing Beam – First Steps . A related post is here An example – planing stops )

So I’ve finished putting it all together. It seems more than sturdy enough, and is light enough to be movable, in pieces, by me working alone. While I admit to not yet having done much chopping of mortises, it doesn’t shift around easily. And the trestles can be used by themselves, if needed.

So far, so good.

Assembly was pretty simple.
-Chisel out the corners on the through mortises.
-Fit the tenon cheeks to the mortises using a plane.
-Chisel off the corners of the stub tenons.
-Drill, dry fit, mark the hole centers using a transfer punch, then drill the drawbores.
-Assembly was done dry, no glue at all, and the joints all drew up tight and rigid.
-Final trimming and smoothing (much smoothing and chamfering was done as I went – depending on sequence and what was accessible when.)

The “tricky” bit was trimming the upper stub tenons to the top rail – the lower cross rail sets the width between uprights, so the upper stub tenons must match both position and size. The lower stub tenons simply be match the size of their mortises. Not so tricky, just required some care and forethought – clamp the lower cross rail to the top rail, centered, and then use it to position the uprights for trimming.

I didn’t apply any finish, and even left the beam top rough, as delivered – it’s pretty flat. I’m hoping the friction will keep the workpieces from sliding about. I may try something different down the road. I’ll eventually have to flatten the top, and my jointer will leave me with a smoother surface.

The blue painters tape did seem to help avoid chipping. My brad pointed bits did well, but did leave a slightly ragged face without the tape.

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At Mark’s suggestion, I ended up using doubled pins for the drawbored mortise and tenons. 3/8ths [9.5mm] oak dowels, with about 1/16th offset [1.5mm]. I used a hand drill with a Big Gator drilling guide – worked well enough. (I did firmly clamp the drilling guide in place.)

I left the through tenons proud – I’d planned on flush, but this looked nice and should be just as functional.

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The pins mate to holes in the underside of the beam. But honestly, it’s pretty solid without them.

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The planing stops, the holdfasts, and the dogs should provide most workholding. I can also use a clamp, a Veritas Wonder-dog, or a does-foot batten, if needed.

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Planing Beam – First Steps

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My planing beam kit has arrived ! Looks like Mark at Plate 11 has done a great job, and he’s given me good instruction on how to build it. Very happy so far.

The first step is to chamfer the edges a bit, while doing so I took a few photos.

You can see I’m using two of Veritas’ planing stops at 90 degrees to position the work (in this case, one of the feet). That’s working well so far and I hope that will be my primary setup for planing almost any shorter workpiece. The dog holes should allow me to use the long planing stop at several different places along the beam, depending on workpiece length – or I could use a pair of dogs if the piece is very long.

A bench of sorts, a planing beam of sorts

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I’ve decided to purchase a workbench, or more accurately a kit.

I didn’t have space for a Roubo – a Japanese style planing beam sounded more interesting. Especially the flexibility of moving it about, and using the trestles alone, struck me as interesting.

But the western styles of workholding (dogs, planing stops, and holdfasts) seemed to me to be the best approach, especially given that I am using western planes (Stanley & Veritas).

So I’ve combined the two approaches – and Mark Hicks at Plate 11 (www.plate11.com)  has kindly agreed to make a kit for me to my plan. It’s currently in-work, I’m looking forward to receiving it in a few weeks. (Like many, I simply didn’t have much time to build my own from scratch.)

Here is the plan : planing_beam

It can also be set up to use a kanna – simply spin the beam about. Mark contributed a few ideas – notably the pins – and some suggested modifications regarding the choice of through vs. stopped mortises. (Note – after using it for a while – some form of pin or stop to connect the beam to the trestle has proved necessary – as I’d expected. But if I did it over, I might use a cleat, rather than pins – the pins are a bit hard to dis-engage. Refer to the Schwarz link below.)

I didn’t include any form of vise – for now. I’m intending to work using various planing stops, dogs, and holdfasts. To work the edge of a piece, I will use a clamp to hold the piece. We will see if practice matches theory – and if not I may drill a few more dog holes, or add a vise.

Some reference information / inspirations:

Toshio Odate discusses a planing beam in his book “Japanese Woodworking Tools”

http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/a-japanese-workbench

http://digitalwoodworker.com/2013/05/31/a-slab-top-for-the-japanese-workbench/

Another example of the trestle; Jay van Arsdale wrote some articles years ago in American Woodworker. You may be able to find it on Google Books (I did).

As for my choice of dog holes and their placement, Schwarz has convinced me : http://www.popularwoodworking.com/workbenches/schwarz-workbenches/i-have-a-dog-in-this-fight

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After far too long…

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After far too long, life has allowed me some time for a bit of woodworking. Ash, for a bench.

The inspiration came from http://www.homemade-modern.com/ep28-wood-wool-bench/

I got my legs (14″) from https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheOldTimberMill?ref=l2-shopheader-name

And I’ve ordered some wool from https://woolery.com/

Mine will be 72″x14″x2″, 16 inches to the top. It’ll be used in my entryway as a “Mr. Rogers” bench.

Reset the Net

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A year ago today, we joined the world in shock on learning that governments were spying on internet users around the world. Tapping internet service providers’ undersea cables, intentionally and secretly weakening encryption products,  surreptitiously collecting everything from call metadata to photos sent over the internet by US citizens — nothing was off limits.

Just as troubling as the revelations themselves is the fact that since last summer, little if anything has changed. Despite a lot of rhetoric, our three branches of government in the United States have not made many concrete steps toward truly protecting citizens from unchecked government surveillance.

Automattic has been a strong supporter of efforts to reform government surveillance. We’ve supported reform legislation in Congress, and participated in the Day We Fight Back, earlier this year. More importantly, we aim to make our own legal processes for securing the information our users entrust to us…

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