Friday, May 16, 2014

Making A Rabbet Plane

When making moulding by hand you will need a method to accurately and efficiently create rabbets. There are many ways to do this. I use a table saw on occassion, but I often just use a rabbet plane.

A rabbet plane is not necessary to create a rabbet. If, however, you use a shoulder plane or rabbet block plane without content you shall not conclude that making this feature by hand is tedious or inaccurate.

On June 7th and 8th I will be teaching a class on making a rabbet plane at Lie-Nielsen. In this class you will learn how to make mortises by hand using floats, how to fit a wedge and how to bed an iron, among many other things. All of these skills are directly relatable to successfully making side escapement planes and others. The tool list is too.

I imagine this class as a perfect supplement to Larry Williams' dvd on making side escapement planes. This class will be a hands on experience using the same tools (i.e. floats) while making a plane that compliments side escapement planes perfectly.

I previously posted in regards to making a rabbet plane. Come to Maine and try it out. The process is time consuming, but straight forward.

As a side note, I made this video back when I first started the blog. It's still relevant.

If you don't like the production quality, you can check out my new dvd.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

An Anarchist's Tool Rack

I didn't realize I have one. (See the first comment in the link provided)

I am back from a weekend with Lie-Nielsen in Frederick. My next stop will be Lie-Nielsen in Maine. 

I will be teaching a class on making a rabbet plane during the weekend of June 7th and 8th. Come see that the process is manageable, but time consuming.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Lie-Nielsen in Frederick, MD

I am heading back down to Maryland tomorrow afternoon for the Lie-Nielsen Handtool Event on Friday and Saturday at Exotic Lumber in Frederick, MD. 

The last time I went to a this show I ended up waiting 6 hours for my car to be fixed after losing much of its function on the George Washington Bridge. (Yes, the weekend was still worth it.)

Lie-Nielsen will have several benches set up with most of their tools sharpened and ready to be put to work. I will have a bench there too, as will a few other demonstrators. 

As with every event I've been to, I will be spending most of my time running people through the process of making moulding by hand. The rest of the time I will be resisting the purchase of a 10 1/4. 

The show is from 10-6 on Friday and 10-5 on Saturday.

If you get stuck on the turnpike send me an email and I'll tell you which roads are not worth walking a mile down to waste time. The best bet is to just call Raney Nelson, he'll talk you off the ledge (and, likely, onto another one).

Monday, April 28, 2014

Matching Specific Moulding

At this stage we all know that hollows and round are, despite their simple curves, extraordinarily complex. With a single pair you are able to make scores of mouldings. With a series of pairs you are able, and encouraged, to create something grand.

I am often presented with the same concept: "I want to make a small amount of moulding to match something specific."

Hollows and rounds allow you to make this same moulding. In fact, they encourage you to make this small amount of moulding. These tools embolden you to make a specific profile that cannot be bought, produced with routers or shapers, and are difficult to carve or scrape along a great length.


I was recently sent an example of a moulding. My best guess at the traced moulding is as follows.

I don't know if this is accurate because I was looking at a literal tracing of a very specific profile. But this is how I'd make the above:

Rabbet plane:

Again, rabbet plane. I would include these rabbets in the process above. I just want to acknowledge the rabbets that  separate the various curves to those that guide that rounds.

Rabbet plane to create chamfers to guide the hollows:

#7 Round:

#14 Round:

#12 Round

#8 Hollow

#18 Hollow 

To the original point: If you tell me that you want to create a very specific profile, I will likely send you an envelope of plane cutoffs. Find out which planes most accurately match the curves. 

The closest fit is likely ideal, but we can get closer still. I just need your help.

And if you tell me that the person who hung my crown moulding did it upside down, you're in the majority. Tell me that they weren't able to cope, I agree. Tell me that it's worth my time to change, I'll tell you that I wouldn't have written this blog otherwise.

That's nice quartersawn beech, right? it wasn't always like that, but stay tuned...

Monday, January 20, 2014

Moldings in Practice: The DVD

Lost Art Press published my book, Mouldings in Practice, a year and a half ago. The purpose of the book is to introduce hollows and rounds to a broader audience by showing off the capabilities of the tools while explaining the most basic topics of their use. The book shows you how to create mouldings by hand while explaining the relevance of the tools in my shop, and possibly yours.

The book accomplishes this goal. However, there are some things that are easier watched than read. The book explains and illustrates how to execute a moulding. But it doesn't show mouldings being executed. Same with sharpening, maintenance, ergonomics, setting an iron, etc.

With that said, I am proud to announce the release of my dvd, Moldings in Practice, through Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. This project will be a good supplement to my book (or vice versa) but, like the book, it was created to stand alone. The video includes the information needed for somebody who knows nothing to be able to produce a predetermined profile--your predetermined profile, not mine and certainly not Freud's.

The information in both will give you a simple series of steps to follow in creating moulding profiles to fit your needs or your desires, regardless of size or shape. Both assume you know nothing about the tools. You only need to be interested in working safer, quieter, with your hands instead of a push stick or having more options than your local Woodcraft.

As a side note, Poor Old Shine, a local bluegrass/americana band that is young, energetic, and some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet recorded the music for the disc. (You'll have to buy the dvd to hear the instrumental or their new album to hear it the way they want you to.) I bring this up because the group is in possession of a Lie-Nielsen saw that is featured in this cover of Ain't No More Cane below.

I just thought you might be interested because the same three parties are involved in very different manners.

This was recorded live so you'll have to excuse the clatter of children in the background, one of which is ringing a bell. 

Here they are in a little more professional setting:

Check out their new album. Check out their show. Ask them to see the saw, it's pretty sweet and unlike yours.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bible box

Here are a couple pictures of a bible box I made as a gift. I had some scrap lying around and wanted to try a little carving like Peter Follansbee.

I don't know how he'll feel about the mahogany, dovetails, the carving being inset, the bead, the stamp being filed onto an allen wrench, the shellac, etc. I thought about his work the entire time and I did nail the bottom on (They weren't cut nails.)

I had a little more scrap so I made one that is quite different. This one only had the single carved face.