Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights For 1935 and 36

In these two compilations are a very nice collection of work shop plans, a shop built jointer, some nice sander plans including flexible belt and oscillating spindle sanders, a very nice article on building Windsor chairs and some nice colonial furniture plans, and of course lots of great tips and tricks throughout.

Here is the link for 1935.

And here is the link for 1936.


Hope everyone is enjoying the fireside reading with these articles. But more than that, with a little imagination and modern materials most of these plans and ideas are as useful today as they were back in the 30's.

Home Training In Cabinet Work #' 10, 11 And 12

I compiled the remaining articles from the original volumes on the internet archive. I don't have cleanup software so they are a bit yellowed, since this was before acid free paper became commonplace. Not a problem with the articles, adds a bit of old age character.

In these three articles you will find a very nice Morris chair (I have to build a version of this, one day). A large circular kitchen table with some very nice chairs to put around it and a sideboard and settle along with some nice smaller plans.

The link for # 10

The link for # 11

And the link for # 12




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Making Pipe Clamps

Have been spending some time trying out different lay outs for my woodworking shop to free up maximum space around the new workbench and do some serious spring cleaning. This is usually an exercise in distraction as I look through boxes and discover stuff I had forgotten I had, today was no different. When I was building the workbench I could have used a few more large pipe clamps. Today looking through a storage box I found 6-3/4" and 7-1/2" fittings, I had picked up cheap many years ago. At the time I only had enough pipe for 2- 3/4" and 2 1/2", the rest ended up in storage. I got lots of 3/4" pipe last year with my steel order for the furnace. No 1/2" pipe for some reason, I am putting in another steel order soon so its on my list. In the meantime I decided to make up the 3/4" clamps today.


I started by measuring to size and cutting on a abrasive chop saw. I can't think of a project that would require a clamp larger than 7', so I will make 4-7' long and 2-6' long to go with the 2 I already have.


All cut and ready to thread. After cutting, both ends get a light reaming and one end gets a slight 45* bevel on the disk sander. The other end gets a much shallower light bevel to give an easier start to the threading die.


Here it is all threaded and ready for the clamp fitting. When threading reverse the die a full turn every 1 1/2 to 2 turns to break the swarf. I don't thread pipe enough to keep threading oil in stock so I use a squirt of light gear oil every couple of turns. A light wire brushing and its ready to assemble.


All assembled.


Here are all the finished clamps including the 4 I already had. A piece of threaded 3/4" pipe 4' long at the hardware store costs almost as much as a 21' length from a steel supplier so you can save alot of money threading your own pipe.


I'll do the 7-1/2"clamps in 4 and 5' lengths when I get my steel order. There's a saying that goes "you can never have enough clamps" with these and between 2 and 3 hundred lbs. of C and F clamps, I think I will be close.☺


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Two Long Lived Shop Storage Projects

Both of these projects were built many years ago and have stood up to the abuse of time very well.

The first is a very heavy duty tool stand with built in storage drawers.


The second is a storage trunk originally built for camping but is now used for shop storage.


This trunk was built 33 years ago, yes 33 years ago. It was built to store soft and dry goods on camping trips, like bread, sugar, flour etc. It worked great for that purpose, When camping became less popular it became a shop storage box. First to store my collection of planes and drill bit sets.


Construction is all 1/4" plywood. The interior frames are all 3/4" X 1 1/4" pine and the feet are made from 3/4" steel tubing I had from an old set of bed frames. The sliding removable tray was originally used for camping cutlery. Today I use it for storing various shop fabrics. Its pretty basic construction but still looks pretty much the same as the day I built it.


The tool stand is built very heavy. The frame is welded 2" steel pipe. Over the years I have had a number of different tools mounted on it, a mini mill, drill press, 12" disk sander, currently I have it in a corner of my little machine shop with a small cordless bandsaw for cutting small stock for further work. If I ever build D. Gingery's metal shaper this will be its stand, its been waiting for 16 years.☺


The 6 sliding drawers run smoothly on welded light steel angle and are well supported even when pulled almost right out. The sides and back are covered with one continuous piece of riveted sheet metal.


The base sits on 2" welded angle iron with locking bolts to adjust leveling.


Quick Router Table

A few years ago Canadian Tire had one of there larger bench top router tables on sale for 1/2 price, I picked one up. I assembled it and it never got used, mainly because as a bench top machine the table height is to high for comfortable work. I had lots of light steel angle from Can. Tire for building tool stands, so I cut and re-drilled the angle to build a floor stand for the router table.



I added a couple of shelves and transfered the electrics to the new stand. The top of the table is now at normal bench height and comfortable to use. The feet are adjustable higher or lower.


I'm quite happy with it and the price was right. One draw back the open shelves do collect a lot of dust. So I will be enclosing it with riveted sheet metal or 1/4" plywood panels.


For dust collection the 2 1/2" fittings from a dead wet/dry vac. fit nicely.


I built a 2 1/2" to 4" adapter to connect to my dust collection system.


And since I don't like to throw anything out the removed plastic table stands were turned into a solid little step stool to reach the top of my bookshelves.




Thursday, May 25, 2017

First Bear And Cub 2017

I had been expecting them and keeping an eye out the last few days. Not to disappoint, a big mother bear and her cub showed up this afternoon. Early in the season, before I make the first cut on the lawn, they show up to feed on the grass. I tried to get a second side picture to show her size but she was keeping an eye out and headed for the bush as soon as I stuck my head around the corner of the house, the cub working real hard to keep up to moms butt.

Guess it's time to cut the lawn soon.☺


Could be lots of bears this year. Listening to the radio lately, sounds like there are more bears than people in the city of Sudbury this year. One story on the radio goes how one bear walked up to a construction crew working on a city road, checked everyone out, stepped of the road into the grass and went to sleep. LOL


Popular Mechanics Shop Notes 1933-34

For the very best of PM ShopNotes 1933 and 1934 I have two files today. Lots of amazing shop machine plans and wood and metalworking information. My 12" bandsaw is loosely based on one of the plans here and there is at least one sander plan that I would like to build a version of. There are some good articles on tapping and heat treatment and a few nice furniture plans.

To download 1933 here is the link:

And to download 1934 this link:


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Home Training In Cabinet Work # 7, 8 And 9

So here is the next three installments in the series. In # 7 Stickley does a nice write up on finishing furniture wood in response to a reader inquiry. This is followed by a hand full of nice plans bookcase, bedstead, highchair and finishes up with a short write up on dovetails and drawer construction. # 8 covers various shelving and a nice porch swing seat. #9 covers 2 fireplace fronts and mantels and a hall clock, mantel and wall clocks.Here are the links.

Link for # 7

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Hobby Machine Shop

It has occurred to me that I have not done any shop tours, so I will start here with a tour of my little machine shop. My shop layout is always changing, at present I have 3 heated shop areas attached to the house, a large garage/workshop with attached firewood and material storage areas and an outdoor equipment shed. I am in the process of planning some changes to increase my protected shop areas so I can do things like casting and forge work year around.

My little machine shop area is 9' X 14' and when I rebuild and place my 10K South Bend lathe, I will be out of room. I am relatively new to machine work and am learning as I go. My equipment is not expensive, I got a good deal on 2 mini lathes and a mini mill a few years back when the Canadian buck was worth more than the US buck. The big mill/drill is a Busy Bee import, I rebuilt the Walker-Turner drill from a scrap designation and a nice 10K South Bend lathe is still waiting rebuild.

Currently a lot of my surplus and salvaged parts and materials are stored in labeled boxes under the bench. This works ok but material is sometimes hard to find and dust and swarf ends up collecting in the open storage, so plans are in the works to eventually install shelves, drawers and doors.

So here are some pictures of my layout.




When the 10K South Bend lathe rebuild is complete it will take the place of the bench in the picture above. In the picture below is my collection of "Model Engineer" magazines and bound volumes, a couple of years of "Projects In Metal" and 5 years of "The Home Shop Machinist". On the shelf below is over 200 GB of books, manuals, plans and articles on disc.








So thats my little machine shop. Hope you liked the pictures. I am currently doing some painting and reorganizing in my woodwork shop. I'll do a little tour there when I get it all organized.


Friday, May 19, 2017

May 2-4 Long Weekend

Well it wouldn't be a May 2-4 long weekend without the required 1" of fresh snow ☺. Climate change doesn't seem to have effected that requirement ☺.



This is usually the last of the snow and should be gone by lunch time. There is a trend of snow flurries in July but this is a once in a decade occurrence, last time was July 2001, so we are due ☺.
Happy May 2-4.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes 1930-31-32

You may be able to tell by now that I love the old PM shop notes. As mentioned in another post I have the Algrove Publishings reprint of the 1905-1930 shopnotes volumes, 1930 is actually 1929 content. I also have half a dozen originals from the 30's and 40's but they are rare and pricey. For those interested in some of the pre-1930 volumes WK Fine Tools.Com has a dozen of them for free download at the following link:

A decade ago Google had access to every pre 2000 Popular Mechanics magazine published back to 1905. I made up a pdf  volume of shop notes for every year from 1930 to the 70's. Each volume is between 150 and 200 pages and 30 to 40 megs each, to large for my slow connection to upload. So what I have done as seen in my 1950 upload is make a small pdf of 30-40 pages of the best info., ideas and plans for each year to upload, 1950 was exceptional, I had to make three for that year. So I will start with 1930 and work my way up into the 70's. 

To get started I will upload 1930-31 and 32. Here's the link for 1930:

To download 1931 Shop Notes this link:

And the 1932 volume can be accessed at this link:

If you like this stuff like I do for its practical and/or entertainment value, enjoy.

Cabinet Work #4,5,And 6

The "Home Training In Cabinet Work" files are getting smaller so I will upload three at a time for the rest of the series. Today in #4 is a collection of home furniture a book shelf, table, chest and clock, all distinctly "Stickley", accompanied  by his insights and words of wisdom.

Download #4 in pdf at the following link:

# 5 is a very nice write up on furniture grade woods, its nature and grain characteristics, the sawing and drying of furniture grade woods and even some tips and advise on finishing.

Download #5 in pdf at the following link:

And #6 today has 4 very nice projects first a couple of nice desks suitable for many uses, A large very "Stickley" dining table and a comfortable looking chair.

To download #6 in pdf please click the following link: 


If your following this series enjoy.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Book Shelving And My Book Collection

My first love has always been books, my hobby workshop interests started with books. I will never forget discovering the 1955 "Popular Mechanics DIY Encyclopedia" at the library when I was 10. I have collected books ever since. Less now than when I was younger mainly because I am running out of room to display them. The collection of 7 or 8 thousand plus volumes is about half woodworking, metalworking and mechanical engineering books, some very old most newer and a large collection of shop project manuals. The other half is a mix of my other interests mostly general science and history. Add to that a couple thousand magazines , Model Engineering, Fine Woodworking, Shop Notes, Wood etc. etc.and the paper tonnage starts to add up.

Below is an example of a very old set of shop practice "cyclopedia's" The bodies were in very good shape but the covers were tattered, so I spent the money to have them recovered.


My bookshelves are not fine wood or high design, they are "built in" floor to ceiling, to maximize wall space and very solid to support the weighty books. I still have a few walls to exploit, so my collecting will continue, just at a slower pace.


Following are some pictures of the rest of my shelving layout and some of my favorite sets of old and newer engineering book collections.



The very rough sketches above and below are some of the shop cutting plans I used when building the shelves. As each piece was completed it got checked off. Rough as the sketches are, I had no problems. When all the pieces were cut and/or dadoed, it all went together like a construction set.





Below is a copy of Joshua Rose's "Modern Workshop Practice". A classic from the late 1800's, The body was excellent but the covers were falling off. I spent the money to have it recovered. The set is huge at over 20 lb's for the 2 volumes. It is full of beautiful woodcut illustrations of every piece of machinery you could hope to find in a late 1800's machine and engineering shop. Nothing short of fantastic.


 Following are some of my other favorites from old to more recent.










Above is 26 volumes of Popular Mechanics Shop Notes from 1905 to 1930 reprinted by Algrove Publishing, a division  of Lee Valley Tools.
Hope someone liked this, I have been accused of grand standing with my book collection, not the case, book collecting is not everyones cup of tea, but it is something I have enjoyed over the course of a lifetime.