It Took a While, But I Finished It

Many moons ago I started to build a 18th century style looking glass, but sort of got sidetracked so it sat on the bench for a while.  I finally got back to it and finished it up this week. I ended up using African mahogany, as I didn’t have any Honduran long enough for the moulding.  In trying to stay true to the original, I glued up a quarter sawn popular core and covered it with shop sawn veneer, using hot hide glue.  I actually did this twice, as the first panels warped badly, and never flattened out. The second time worked out much better.  To cut the scroll work, I whipped together a birds mouth fixture on an 8 degree slope which allowed me to put a back bevel bevel on.


After roughing out the scroll work I refined the shape with spoke shaves, chisels, gouges, rasps, and a bit of sandpaper.


I glued the scroll work to the popular sub-frame before gluing the moulding on. If I were to do it over again, I would have made the moulding 1/16″ larger than the popular sub-frame, and glued the on first, then the scroll work.  I added glue blocks per the original, but went with a 2 piece ship lapped back since I did not have any boards wide enough, and that was simpler than gluing up a panel.  I used cut nails to hold the back and glass in as the original also used nails.


The moulding was cut several months before the veneer, so it has darkened a bit more than.  Hopefully it will even out over time.   A couple of coats of dark garnet shellac and a bit of oil stain to hide the popular core, and I called it done. The perspective is off a bit as I took the photo from an angle to avoid the reflection.


I had planed to antique the mirror, but wasn’t been able to strip the protective coating off the back.  I did make up a furniture label and past it on the back.  I used an 18th century font, to give it a bit of character.


All in all. I’m pretty with it, but will probably make another as there are a few flaws that bug me, plus it was fun to make.

Thanks for looking


The Last Project of 2015

After a long hiatus of very little woodworking, I finally got back in the shop in November and December and made a few boxes. These were a fun diversion and all done with hand tools.

The first one is sycamore with a spalted apple lid.




The next one is Honduran mahogany, with a birdseye maple top.



The last is much larger and in configured as a jewelry box.  This is a gift for my step daughter.  Birdseye maple with a walnut lid and moulding.  The internal tray is African mahogany with osage orange dividers.  Her favorite colors are blue and yellow, so that accounts for the odd color combination.  I used spray adhesive to cover 1/4 foam board with the blue felt.  One quadrant of the tray has closed cell foam under the felt which I slit to hold rings.

The miters were cut on a miter box and trued up on a donkeys ear shooting board.  I raised the panel in the lid with the Veritas Skew Rabbit planes and an angled fence.  The ogee molding was stuck with 3/8″ moulding plane.  The finish is blond shellac and wax.









Thanks for looking, and Happy New Year.


I’m still Kicking & A Half Finished Chair

Wow,  Life has just been crazy lately and I have really neglected this blog.  Now that things are settling down a bit and winter is settling in, I have some time to get back to it.  I didn’t do much woodworking over the summer, but I did head down to Kansas City in September to take a chair making class with Ben Hobbs at the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild.

The folks in KC have a fabulous resource in the Guild.  Great folks, a HUGE shop outfitted with just about every power tool imaginable, and fine collection of hand tools too, many of which were sharp and ready to use.  Heck I cant even accomplish that in my own shop, I don’t know how they do it with 600 members.



Kansas City Woodworkers Guild shop

In the class with Ben, we learned to build an 18th century style Chippendale chair with a trapezoidal seat.  It was 5 1/2 days of instruction crammed into 4 days, so folks could attend Wood Working in America (WIA) and Ben worked us like rented mules!  It was great.  I was in the shop from 8am to 6pm all four days.  Ben is a great teacher with a wicked sense of humor and some strong opinions about clamps!  I really enjoyed the class and learned quite a bit. Here is a picture of the Chair that Ben built for the class.

Ben Hobbs Chair

Ben Hobbs Chair

Here are a few class shots.






None of us were able to finish our chairs in class, but we got all the tough stuff done. I have quite a bit of shaping to do on the back, finish the glue up, and make the slip seat.  With the trapezoidal seat there are all sorts of funky angled tenons to cut and I’m not sure I remember how to figure them all out.  In class we cut the tenon on the table saw, but that not an option for me, so I’m not going to glue up my chair just yet, as I have grand designs of making a set.  Here are a couple of pictures of my chair as it sits in my shop.



It was a great week in KC, Lie Nielsen came into the Guild shop one evening before WIA and put on a hand tool event.  Of course I ate BBQ every day, and even made it to WIA for one day.  The only downer was when Delta charged me $225 to bring my chair home!! I had it disassembled and packed flat, but they decided it was oversize and really socked it to me.


Thanks for visiting.

The Antique Tool Gazette


Are you familiar with the Antique Tool Gazette?  I just discovered it.  It’s a great resource compiled by a fellow tool collector from Texas named Gregor.  It’s chock full of old tool news and classifieds.  Gregor compiles information on all the tool collector club swap meets and meetings in North America, Europe and Australia.  He also includes a free classifieds section.  Gregor says “My gazette Is open source; I do it for the love of tools, not for anything else”

Please download the July 2015 issue and check it out.

Antique Tool Gazette, July 2015 1.1 MB Downloads 841

If you are interested, you may contact Gregor using the form below and request to be added to the mailing list.  Just fill in your name, e-mail address, and a note asking to be added to his mailing list.

Thanks for visiting.


If Only it Would Have Fit into My Suitcase!

If it would have fit into my suitcase, I would have brought it home to Alaska.  It looks awfully lonely!


New Rogers treadle scroll saw

I just returned form a trip to Pennsylvania to rust hunt and visit family, I mean visit family and rust hunt!  I found the scroll saw in an antique shop, and thought long and hard about buying it.  The price was fair and it looks to be in great condition.  In the end I decided it was too difficult to ship, so sadly I left it where I found it.

I managed to drag my Dad out of the house early just about every morning to hit the fleas and managed to scare up a few nice things, along with some antique shop and yard sale finds.


The blacksmith made dividers and the small cross peen hammer are two of my favorites, both were found in antique stores.


The moulding plane was my best flea market find, it’s a 1/4″ ovolo in superb condition.  It is marked Bewley Leeds.  The spoke shave appears to be an unmarked Preston.  Unfortunately the blade is badly pitted on the back.  The lever cap screw was stuck, so I could not loosen it to inspect the iron, before I bought it.  It’s the first one I have ever seen, so I took a chance.  It looks like Ray Iles make replacement irons for it, so perhaps I’ll order one.  The block plane is Millers Falls #16.  The Yankee driver is a North Bros. in great shape with 3 bits.


The saw at the top is a Disston K3 PaceMaker with a nice etch.  The lower one is an Atkins Hack saw.  For $4 I could not leave it on the table!  The back saw is a 16″ Disston marked Jackson.  That one is for my buddy Tony.

All in all it was a good trip.  I spent some time with my family including my 96 year old Grandfather.   Made a visit to Longwood Gardens, the Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, and the Chester County Historical Society in Chester.  I must say I’m glad to be back in Alaska where the weather is a bit more hospitable!  It was in the mid 80’s F and humid a few days.

Thanks for visiting