Router Plane Fix

felibien router plane 5

Worked like a charm.

The old Stanley router plane turned up in the mail from a colleague in the States a while back, the box a little crunched and the threaded adjustment shaft was bent. Not a huge problem, but the thing was that it made it impossible to set the iron for anything less than about 3/8” (9 mm). The question was; leave it as is, or try to bend and risk breaking the shaft? Not needing the plane right then, I decided to think about it…

Felibien router plane 1

The bent shaft made it impossible to decrease the depth of cut.

The other day when cutting some tenons for a desk for my daughter Rachel, I decided to try to fix the shaft. I figured even if I broke the shaft the plane would still be usable, as the thumb nut is only used for fine adjustments.

I had had a similar problem on a Record 044 plow plane I bought online a while back. It seemed at the time to be an incredible bargain. When it arrived, I could see why. Sharper eyes than mine… There is a machine screw that holds the irons, of different widths, up against the body and a pressure foot to hold the iron against its bed. Whoever bought the plane way back when seemed not to have understood how the screw and the pressure foot worked together, and had cranked the screw so hard he had bent it. Taking a closer look back at the photos online, you could see the problem, but I hadn’t noticed. The iron couldn’t seat properly and from the looks of it the plane was put back into the box and never touched again. None of the irons had ever even been sharpened.

For the plow plane, I took three regular nuts and threaded them down the screw, aligned them and clamped them in a metal vise and used a big Cresent wrench to bend the screw straight. Worked fine, but in this case, the shaft was a true 1/4” and the 6 mm nuts I have here in France wouldn’t fit. So I knocked together a little jig in 5 mm ply to protect the threads from the vise.

Felibien router plane 2

The soft aspen-cored okoume 5mm ply was perfect for the job.

felibien router plane 3

The 5 mm ply was the perfect thickness to leave space for the 1/4″ threaded shaft. You can see the slight indent where the wood compressed around the shaft.

Worked like a charm, not 100% straight, but fully functional.

felibien router plane 4

The iron was in pretty good shape, and 15 minutes on the stone got it done.

felibian router plane desk copy

Rachel’s desk

Oak and black locust, with maritime pine as secondary wood.

felibian router plane desk 2 copy

I have always liked a low angle for my wrists for typing, so I added an old-fashioned typing tray, wide enough to take a big laptop or a wide keyboard, with a drawer to store it behind the hinged center piece.

I ended up taking it to a joiner I know to cut the profile around the edges of the top on his table moulder. The end grain of the black locust was just too splintery to cut across it with the moulding plane I wanted to use, even with a sacrificial block clamped onto the end to keep it from tearing out. Other than that, I used a thicknesser, and then the rest was hand tools.

There is a reason it is a cliché among woodworkers to speak of the satisfaction of building something for your family that, as long as it lives in a home, will last centuries: It really is satisfying.

Now, if only someone could tell me what eschauffent means…

- Brian Anderson

Brian Anderson is a translator and woodworker living in France. He is translating the woodworking parts of André Felibien’s Des principes de l’architecture, de la sculpture, de la peinture… avec un dictionnaire des terms for Lost Art Press. The book is due out in the Autumn of 2014. Anderson translated Grandpa‘s Workshop for us.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Folding Campaign Bookcase Complete

BOOKCASE_test_open3_IMG_8556

For the last seven weeks I’ve been building this folding campaign bookcase using sapele I purchased from the dearly departed Midwest Woodworking. My logbook says I have about 50 hours in the project. It took seven weeks because I was interrupted by travel, teaching and taxes (to name a few things).

Some details:

Overall dimensions (open): 37” long, 27” high, 10-1/4” deep.
Hardware: Most of the hardware is from Lee Valley. The corner guards, brackets and campaign pulls were vintage stuff from eBay (though Londonderry Brasses carries the exact stuff I used). The lock is from eBay as well. See here for details.
Finish: Garnet shellac and black wax.
More details on construction: Coming this fall in Popular Woodworking Magazine.

The piece is away for photography and then to the customer. Now I can get started on making some birdhouses.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Books in Print, Campaign Furniture, Projects | 23 Comments

Split and Sawed Shingles

8a25829v

I have been interested in the communications of your correspondent in regard to shingles. I have had over thirty years’ experience in building and repairing roofs. I have taken rifted pine shingles from off several roofs that were worn entirely through, at the line where the water falls from one shingle upon the next one below, while underneath the courses the shingles were as bright as when first laid.

Such is not the fact with sawed and cut shingles, from any kind of timber. The reason is, that sawed and cut shingles are cross-grained, so that water runs through the pores of the wood,—wets the under course, and, in wet seasons, seldom if ever dries.

The agents of decay are, air, water and heat. All are combined on a roof to produce decay, and you have the effect on all roofs made of sawed or cut shingles. I have replaced many roofs of sawed shingles, but they never were half worn; they were rotten and unfit to remain longer.
Continue reading

Posted in Historical Images | 5 Comments

A Barrel of Shavings

hubbard

A Carpenter can no longer be judged by his shavings. Machinery and improved tools is knocking to pieces the old-fashioned mechanical way of lots of sawdust and any amount of shavings in housework.

On this point the Springfield Republican remarks:
“A prominent city landlord, who is putting up many of the wooden houses in a district which is being rapidly filled, when asked by an old resident for a few barrels of shavings the other day, replied: We don’t have any shavings in the houses now; they are all made at the mill and you will have to go there for them. I don’t believe that the carpenters now a-days make more than a barrel of shavings in building a house. Modern residences are put up pretty much as Solomon’s temple was, the parts are brought together all prepared and fitted, and it is short and easy work to put them together.”

The wooden house is turned out of a saw and planing-mill, much as if it were a toy-block. Like ready-made clothes, the average mechanic can put up a ready-made house, while there is still the same opportunity for elaborate workmanship and outlay as in fine clothing.

The Builder and Wood-Worker – September, 1887

—Jeff Burks

Posted in Historical Images | Leave a comment

On the Stump and the Axe

2008BT8474_jpg_l

For some reason I never considered a tree stump as essential workshop equipment until I met Richard Maguire.

Maguire, a lifelong furniture-maker and bench-builder, uses a stump and an axe in his shop and counts it among his essential workshop kit. I’ve always favored sawbenches (yup, I hew on them), but I am coming around to Richard’s way of thinking.

Especially after playing a few (OK, 126) rounds of the Hammer Schlager game, the best stump game ever.

This week Suzanne Ellison sent me this photo from the Victoria & Albert Museum archives. Lady Hawarden Clementina took this photo at Dundrum House circa 1858. It is a fascinating photograph. Not only for the workbench, the chest in the foreground and the awesome hats, but for the stump and the axe.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Historical Images, Workbenches | 19 Comments

Upcoming Projects at Lost Art Press

TMAPAP_detail2_500_IMG_7398

When I left the corporate publishing world, I stopped wearing a wristwatch everyday. In fact, I don’t think I’ve worn one this year. This is, of course, a symbolic gesture. We won’t release a book until we are happy with it.

So I can’t ever say when a certain title will be released. However, here are the projects we are working on now and in the coming months.

“Windsor Foundations” (a tentative title) by Peter Galbert
I’m about halfway through editing this book. As a woodworker who loves chairmaking, I can say that this is the best book I have read on the topic. Peter is able to explain complex subjects with clarity and just a few words. Plus, he is drawing all of the illustrations for the book (and there are a ton of them).

“Princips de l’Architecture” by André Félibien, translation by Brian Anderson
This important French book pre-dated Joseph Moxon and explains processes and tools not shown in Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises.” Brian is finishing the translation, which should be in my hands in a few weeks. Read more on this book here.

“Roubo on Furniture” by Donald C. Williams, Michele Pietryka-Pagán & Philippe Lafargue
The translation of this book is complete and the edited sections are now flowing to me. The scope of this book is remarkable. I think you will find it was worth the wait. We will again publish a standard edition and a limited deluxe edition of this book. I don’t have any more details on pricing or availability.

“Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!” by Roy Underhill
The text is complete and Megan Fitzpatrick is finishing her first edit. We are on the verge of selecting an illustrator. Right, Megan? This book is on track for release in the fall.

“Furniture of Necessity” by Christopher Schwarz
I’m taking the first load of furniture up to the engraver on Saturday. So look for an update on this title in the next week or so.

“The Woodworker: The Charles Hayward Years” by Charles Hayward
This project has been going on for as long as our Roubo translation. We have acquired the rights to publish about 500 magazine articles written and illustrated by Charles Hayward when he was editor of The Woodworker magazine in England. The book will cover joinery, tools, casework, carving, turning and traditional design. The goal is to have this massive tome released by the end of 2014, but you’ve heard that line before.

“Virtuoso: The Tool Chest and Workbench of H.O. Studley” (tentative title) by Don Williams
This book will be out this time next year. That is all.

We also have three other titles that I haven’t announced yet but we have completed contract negotiations with the authors. One of these books is a do-it-before-you-die project for me. So our 2015 is booked up and we are already working on the lineup for 2016.

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in Calvin Cobb: Radio Woodworker!, Chairmaking by Peter Galbert, Furniture of Necessity, Virtuoso: The Toolbox of Henry O. Studley | 31 Comments

The Minimalist Anarchist Tool Kit

three_chests_IMG_5907

To build an English-style tool chest, you don’t need a chest full of hand tools. Here is what I consider the minimum tool kit necessary to build this chest during a class or in your shop (as soon as you have your stock dimensioned).

Handplanes
Block plane: for smoothing surfaces and trimming joints flush
Jack plane: for gross removal of material
Moving fillister, skew rabbet or large shoulder plane: for cutting rabbets
Plow plane: for plowing the groove in the lid
Beading plane: 1/8” or 3/16” (optional)

Saws
Dovetail saw
Tenon saw
Coping saw, such as the Olson, and extra blades (10 or 12 tpi)

Chisels
1/2” bevel-edge chisel
1/4” or 5/16” mortising chisel
Chisel mallet

Marking & Measuring
Cutting gauge, such as the Tite-Mark
Dividers (one or two pair)
Marking knife
Mechanical pencil
Dovetail gauge or sliding T-bevel
Tape measure
Combination square: 6” or 12”

Miscellaneous
16 oz. claw hammer
Nail sets
Hand drill with a set of bits up to 1/4”
Sharpening equipment

Depending on how you cut your dovetails, you can skip some of the equipment. If you cut pins first, you can get away without a marking knife. If you like your dovetails a little irregular looking, you can dispense with the dovetail marking gauge and the dividers. If you truly cut your dovetails “by hand” then you don’t need a dovetail saw (you ninja).

— Christopher Schwarz

Posted in The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Woodworking Classes | 26 Comments