Showing posts with label woodworking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label woodworking. Show all posts

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Home Craftsman's Practical Workshop Guide

Here is an older book on workshop tips and tricks, that you will not find anywhere on line, I have checked. It was published back in 1948 by "The Home Craftsman Magazine". In the tradition of PM and PS magazines, it published a nice small book on tips and tricks for the hobby workshop, taken from it's magazines.

I found this one many years ago, tucked away in a dusty corner of "The Highway Bookshop", once a very popular and hugely stocked used book shop up here. It took a while to scan it and clean it up with my limited software, it's not perfect but quite usable.

To download "Practical Workshop Guide" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 79 - 16.7 MB - pdf




Sunday, December 16, 2018

"Mobile Workbench"

The materials are plywood and MDF, don't turn your nose up ha, ha, this is a solid little bench, with good work holding options, and it's mobile to move around the shop. Construction is relatively simple but the design has nice lines and looks more difficult than it is. For the small shop, with a DIY'er doing a variety of different work, this would be a very handy bench.

The bench is by Bruce Kieffer and was in the September 2010 Handy issue.

To download the 5 page article click Mobile Workbench - 876 KB - pdf.

So I hope this selection of workbenches finds interest in anybody looking for ideas on building a workbench. This is a small selection of what is available out there, and often the best bench for a particular person does not come in a plan but is a compilation of various ideas, assembled to suit the type of work you plan on subjecting it too, and the space available.

So I am going to take a break from the computer for a couple of weeks. Check back around Xmas, if my slow connection co-operates, we might be able to get a few goodies under the tree.

So a heads up, I don't know yet if I will be re-newing this blog, when it comes up for renewal in the spring. It was never ment for long term, it is more of a bucket item I can put behind me now, and it takes time away from other things. I initially tried to avoid it by posting on forums, but it quickly became clear that was a waste of time.

"New Fangled-Workbench"

And now for something different. Here is a plan for a large, solid, workbench with lots of clamping and support options, and not a single vice to be found. For a large solid workbench this is about as inexpensive as it gets, 6 standard 3/4" pipe clamps and some construction grade lumber is all you will need.

This plan was in the Fine Woodworking, November, 1999 issue. John White did the article and the build.

Its a short article so rather than a pdf, here are the images, expand to max. before saving.




"Building The Holtzapffel Workbench"

Recently one of my favorite sites WKFineTools.com shut down and has disappeared (except for on the wayback machine). Loved the submitted articles and there cleaned up old tech books. It's a big loss.

David Pearce submitted a number of articles documenting a number of projects. David started out a relative newbe learning the craft of woodworking. One of his first documented projects was a Holtzapffel workbench back in 2008. Without alot of experience he produced a nice solid bench that would provide long service.

In David's words "In my attempt to learn the craft of woodworking, I have discovered that one of the most valuable tools a woodworker needs is a good workbench. Rather than delve into the details of my journey from doing general carpentry with power tools to learning the more traditional woodworkers methods using hand tools (which drove my reasoning to build a good, solid workbench), I want to take the approach of showing the process of building the bench using limited resources and relatively basic knowledge and skill of woodworking."

I made up many pdf's of the articles on WK Fine tools over the years, so it feels good to know not everything is lost. I have a few other of Davids projects. David if you see this and object to being reposted, message me and I will remove it.

To download the 54 page build document click Building The Holtzapffel Workbench - 2.5 MB - pdf.



"Building A Roubo-Workbench"

Every workshop needs a workbench, and every workbench is the most used piece of equipment in a workshop. I have posted plans for benches before and of course I documented my most resent workbench build here Classic Inspired Workbench. My workbench adopted aspects of both the classic Roubo and Holtzapffel designs in addition to a few ideas of my own, such as a built in clamp storage rack. Over a lifetime I have built at least half a dozen workbenches, small and large. I paid the most attention to building this one, and it has turned out to be the most used piece of equipment in all of my shops.

So In the following four posts I am going to present a number of different workbench designs, starting with a dream of a top end Roubo bench that will make anyone salivate with envy, and finishing with an easy, portable, solid, plywood and MDF bench.

The first is a reproduction of a classic Roubo bench built and documented by Guido Henn a German Master Craftsman. www.fine-tools.com (an online German fine tool seller) has its name all over the documentation and may have sponsored this build to promote the "Benchcrafted" hardware used, which they sell. No two ways about it, this bench is high end, from the hard maple used, to the top quality hardware, this bench takes your breath away.

To download the 42 page build document click Building A Roubo-Workbench - 6 MB - pdf. 


Monday, December 10, 2018

A Few Short Articles

Back in the 80's Fine Woodworking published a series of manuals titled "Fine Woodworking On". The series had titles like "Making And Modifying Machines" and "Woodworking Machines" they were all composed from articles in the first 10 years (1975-1985) of Fine Woodworking magazine. I will visit these again, at a later time.

Here are a couple of short articles and the cover picture of "Making And Modifying Machines". Remember this post "Scroll Saw On Steroids", Here is a picture from the cover that was not in the posted article. It is pretty clear from this picture, that I wasn't kidding when I said "on steroids". Check out the size of timber the author is cutting here, you would need a large, tough, band saw to handle a cut like this, and the length would be limited by the throat depth. With this beast and outboard supports, you could cut to shape the center of a 16'er if you so desired.


This article was originally published in the May 1980 FW magazine. It is a tongue-in-cheek look at tool steel production. The technical details are correct the scenario is hilarious, as is the illustration, LOL.


It seems D. Gingery thought the illustration was entertaining as well, and included it in the first page, of the second edition of, "The Charcoal Foundry".


The second article today comes from the March 1980 FW magazine. This article covers a very inexpensive alternative to a jointer. You can't do the face with this, but for perfect edge surfaces, this can be faster with a better finish than a jointer. I have seen this idea a few times before, the Shopsmith Mark V combination machine has sold a disc accessory like this, for it's machines, since back in the 1950's. It is certainly safer than just cutting square with the table saw or even using the jointer.

Edit: So I don't know where my head was when I called the Shopsmith Mark V a Woodsmith yesterday, so when I noticed that today I had to correct it. While I was at it I decided to post a page from the Shopsmith 2005 accessory catalog, where they sell this disc for their machines.


At $50 it is a heck of alot cheaper than buying a jointer. Even better, it's free if you have a small furnace to cast the disc in aluminum. You can finish it on a wood turning lathe if you do not have a metalworking lathe.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

An Easy Train And Jeep

So their's still time to squeeze in a couple of quick projects in the wood shop. Young enthusiasts will love playing with these under the tree, Xmas morning. The first project is a quick and easy train for the young toddler. The second project will appeal to the little older child and is a nice reproduction of the classic Jeep.

Both of these projects were published in Rodale Press's 1990 "The Weekend Woodworker" by John A. Nelson.






Sunday, December 2, 2018

"Getting The Most Out Of Your Circular Saw And Jointer"

Over the years Delta published many"Getting The Most Out Of Your ....." manuals covering most of the shop equipment found in a typical workshop. I posted one a while back on abrasive equipment, grinders, sanders, etc. This edition comes from 1937 and covers table saws and jointers. They are not large, this one is 52 pages, but they are packed with info. cover to cover. I have a few more titles and editions, hopefully get them up in the future.

To download "Getting The Most Out Of Your Circular Saw And Jointer", go to my Books - Free Downloads page, # 73 - 5 MB - pdf.



Get'n so thick out there, I can't see out the windows ha,ha. Oh well back to the football game, no sign of a single snow flake there ha, ha.

"How To Make Things With A Workshop"

So, got up to a snow storm blowing in, it's forecast to last into the night, looks like I will be clearing snow tomorrow. All that early snow is getting me down already, summer was to short this year.

So not feeling a whole lot of energy today, decided it would be easier to just upload some small files I had that didn't require any work, beyond the upload. Delta was very prolific in publishing many different plans and how-to manuals, to help promote there woodworking machines. Here are two more, and for something different a great little cook book.

The first manual today is " How To Make Things In A Workshop". This was published by Delta in 1928. With a title like that you would expect a very large manual, however this 18 page booklet packs a lot of information into a small manual.

To download "How To Make Things With A Workshop" go to my Books - Free Downloads page, # 71 -  3 MB - pdf




Sunday, November 18, 2018

Gifts From Santa's Workshop

So enjoying Sunday football today, took a few minutes out to get this file up. The first plan is the child's rocking horse revisited. Every child loves a rocking horse, this design by Paul and Marya Butler is different from the usual fair. It is very solidly built and has over-sized rockers for safety and stability. It incorporates some carved elements in the head assembly for that customized look and the manila rope for the mane and tail is a nice solution.

The construction and finish will stand up to outdoor use and still look great indoors. Two children can ride this tough horsey at the same time, for an enjoyable experience.

The plan was posted in Popular Science's 1989 Yearbook.




The second plan today is a great little revolving jib crane designed and built by John Capotosto and posted in Popular Science's 1985 Yearbook. I would have loved playing with one of these when I was a kid, lifting Lego blocks or Meccano parts into place. Standard toy wheels are used throughout. They are readily available from many sources, but of course you can make your own too.




Thursday, November 15, 2018

"A Book Of Country Things"

So I have been catching up on some of my reading. Browsing my shelves the other day I came across a small book that had interested me a long time ago, in a used book store, my interest was revived and I had to read it.

"A Book Of Country Things" is an entertaining recounting of a grandson's experiences with his Grandpa, L. L. Bond. Grandpa was born in 1833 in Vermont, grew up in a log cabin, served in the Civil War, and over the course of a rural lifetime, learned many of the skills we all consider "lost arts" nowadays. The grandson's (Walter Needham) recounting of growing up with his Grandpa is a detailed and entertaining explanation of many of the practiced arts necessary  to maintain a homestead in rural Vermont in the late 1800's.

When I think of heroes, I think of people like Willie in the "Working Knowledge" post or "Grandpa". They are not afraid of work, they are a wealth of knowledge, acquired over a lifetime of getting their hands dirty, doing the actual work, They usually have a good sense of humor that is genuine and not a cover-up for meanness or cruelty. And they don't constantly feed you BS because they don't want to share what they have learned, (they are generous).

I am sure this view point doesn't jive with many nowadays, many of todays heroes are fictitious creations that have little bearing on real life.

So if you want to take 5 minutes to read an interesting chapter about another time, I am posting chapter 6 below. The chapter discusses the harvesting and use of different wood to produce the necessities of life in pioneer America, from pine for making pipes to cherry for making clocks.

I will post chapter 7 tomorrow or the next day. It deals with "Grandpa's" tools and shop. 

The book was printed by the Stephen Greene Press in 1965 and went through 10 printings by 1986, it is a timeless reminiscence of a less complicated time.

Expand to read comfortably. If you would like to print it off, choose landscape on your print options. If you are viewing on your mobile, I am sorry, this is probably not the best format.









To those who found this article early, I have corrected the double page with the correct page.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Scratch Beader

Here is a quick little plan for a scratch beader. Classic colonial furniture likes moldings, There are many different molding shapes available for modern routers and shapers. If you like old tools or like to make them, you may even have a selection of molding planes. When you come across a shape that you can't match, there is always the scratch beader, It is a relatively simple tool to make and if you have access to some tool steel, the scraper blades can be shaped to your requirements. Rude Osolnik touched on this in the Acorn Bed post, for fluting turnings.

A scratch beader is more labor intensive and your moldings will not be as perfect as the product from a router or shaper, but they will be much closer reproductions of the originals.

This article comes from John Nelson's book "Colonial Classics You Can Build Today", published by Stackpole Books in 1986.






Sunday, November 11, 2018

Lowboy Desk

Imagine this, you have just purchased a brand new state of the art, cutting edge, computer, now imagine it sitting on the classic, curvy, hunk of beautiful Mahogany you see below. Classic old meets cutting edge new, awesome. I don't know why the name denotes male, it is clearly female, lol.

There is no beating around the bush here, this is clearly an advanced project. The hand cut dovetails and curvy cabriole legs, make it so. You can get away with lock joints in place of the dovetails but you can't get away without the cabriole legs, they are the essence of the piece.

Couldn't find who did the reproduction but David Donnelly wrote the article and did the photography, I assume he did the reproduction too. He states that the cabriole legs are not hard to do, but even so you will need to have a good working method on your band saw, and be able to do some close shaping work with hand tools, to get four matching legs.

Don't let the advanced nature of this project put anyone off, you will never do advanced work, if you never try it. If your working up to this level go slow, don't put time limits on yourself. You can go fast when you have mastered the techniques. The reward is a truly beautiful piece.

With many of these classic pieces part of the look is the appealing hardware. In Canada your best bet for the Chippendale drawer pulls is Lee Valley Tools, see the links page.

At 10 pages, the instructions are very complete. If you build, read carefully and take note of the tips.











So we got 6" of  snow out there and lots of drifts. I guess I will be pulling out the shovels tomorrow and start with winter chores. It's been a fun weekend though, hope someone got some useful inspiration, from some of these posts.

Pedestal Table

At first glance most would class this pedestal table as an advanced project, it is more in the middle range of difficulty. There are many plans for this classic style pedestal table, some are more difficult than others, involving things like steam bending of the apron. Nick Engler does a great job of simplifying this design. The kerfed apron simplifies things and is probably a better solution. My manufactured pedestal table has a steam bent apron that no longer lines up very well.

So here is the plan for a classic that you will be proud of, no mater what your skill level. You will need a 10" or larger swing lathe to turn the pedestal. In a pinch there are jigs that can be built to turn it, utilizing your router, but that would be a different post. The table slides are available at many hardware stores and through woodworking supply outlets.