• We invite you to join UKWorkshop.
    Members can turn off viewing Ads!

If you're working on something that's mostly hand tools...

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

Bedrock

Established Member
Joined
12 Feb 2014
Messages
286
Reaction score
2
Location
Hampshire
The Forestry Commission was started in 1919 to replant the woodland that was felled in the First World War. I think that most of the plantations were softwood, which has given rise to the thousands of acres of mono-culture across the UK.
Thankfully, the policy has changed and for some time the softwood has been replaced with deciduous trees. What will be done with the timber when it is mature, remains to be seen, as it still seems to difficult to buy good quality timber in this area- south Hampshire.
Over the last 12 months or so, there has been considerable felling of hardwoods, not just Ash die-back, and thankfully, re-planting, again with hardwoods. Be nice to know what is happening to it.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
Common here for young woods to come back with fairly minimal softwoods, but heavy on oak and cherry. This state and up the east coast going north here was heavy on the softwoods (evergreens is what people around here would always say, even though some of the evergreens shed their needles and aren't really evergreen), but stripping the land and allowing the forest to reestablish itself has resulted in deciduous hardwoods.

The stereotype in the US is to assume as you go north, you find pine trees and snow. Coastal maine, we found the same trees that we have here (hardwoods that shed leaves), but they confirmed what I said here - that the old growth woods were far different trees.

Tree types like pinoak in my area of the country can come back with a 5 foot trunk in 75 years, and a huge tall main stem with giant canopies, so it's hard to tell much by looking around here.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
slow progress on the case - made the trick dovetail scrap plane to make dovetails and can't locate it now, but the bottom has dovetails that will be hidden in a base, so it's not really needed. So housed dados for the bottom instead. I never liked furniture that had loose shelves, so these are lightly glued in. Most of the content in this case on the bottom will be board games - not exactly demanding.

One of the bottom sides:


Too many things to glue up fast, so I wanted the dovetails to be loose. I forgot on the last set and they're tight, and so glued them up ahead of the rest of everything. They're tight enough to glue without clamping - just drive them home and adjust slightly to make sure everything is square.



We have another case already that I'm taking proportions off of...the pair of them look odd to me - the bottom is very deep (19 inches total) and the top just over a foot.



Pretty homely - the bottom will get a robust base, though, and both the top and bottom pieces will get doors, tongue and groove backs and mouldings.

not fine furniture - I've never made such a thing. Utility furniture.
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,177
Reaction score
683
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
Here's a little hand tool exercise. A dodgy oak worktop in the kitchen which I decided to flatten as it had become a bit uneven in the 4 years since I made it. I started with a number 6 as a scrub plane:



That shows nicely how the worktop had rippled. It was then just a question of elbow grease:







.....before taking the Stanley 80 scraper to it:





Because of the handle I couldn't get the scraper plane in close enough to finish the edge against the adjacent cupboard. Time to use the number 4 with a tightly set cap iron to finish within a few mm of the edge:





That last little bit was done with a card scraper. Then on with the Danish oil:



Not my favourite finish on oak, but with everything else having yellowed in the kitchen I wanted to get a similar look.
 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
That does look a lot more efficient and practical than filling up the room with sanding dust or dismantling the whole thing.
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,177
Reaction score
683
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
I looked at dismantling it, simply so as to avoid the issue of getting tools in close to the edge of the raised cupboards. The Afrikaans have a great word......schlep. I think it's fairly self-explanatory. It would have been too much of a schlep to remove the top. Sometimes it's just better to get the tools out and get on with it.

The reason I was working in the area at all was to fit a sliding shelf to take the food mixer:

Looking around for a little job that would suit my low post-Covid19 energy levels, I saw this unfinished job on the island unit. It's a cupboard which was designed to house the Kenwood food mixer, but had never been fitted out:



The design problem here is that I wanted to fit a sliding out tray-thing holding the mixer, but it needed to slide out about 800mm whereas the cupboard is only some 600mm deep. That meant that one slider wouldn't do it. Time to play with some aluminium:



The upper piece was part of the profile of some architectural samples I was given years ago, and the lower piece is after I sliced that upon the bandsaw, cleaned it up with a file and belt sander, and riveted the two bits together.

I then riveted these to a pair of 450 sliders:





This allowed the combined unit to slide out 850 or 900mm:



This was the first go at fixing them in place. In the end, I must have re-located them 4 or 5 times:



Then it was a simply case of fitting a board in between with little indentations for the rubber feet of the mixer:









There is a little wooden spacer under the baseboard which arrives at the worktop pretty close to the working position of the mixer. I had added a slight "downhill" to the sliders such that the shelf thingy won't rub along the worktop the whole way, but rests on the worktop to prevent the mixer vibrating the whole arrangement around when working. This might need nuancing in due course.

As well as the mixer, this cupboard was also meant as a place for the digital scales, so I made a little something on the door:



Unfortunately, this wasn't quite enough, as they fell off if the door was opened too vigorously. I made a little sprung catch:



 

AndyT

Established Member
Joined
24 Jul 2007
Messages
12,030
Reaction score
492
Location
Bristol
Neat!
But I thought schlep was a Yiddish word.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
AndyT":jkzear0o said:
Neat!
But I thought schlep was a Yiddish word.
It probably is. It's widely used in the US here by non-Jewish folks, though.

Yiddish words are widely used among the pennsylvania dutch, though, too (the non-amish types - the amish speak german unless they're talking to "english" folks, which is everyone who isn't amish - as opposed to the way it may be used there). The PA dutch don't know that they're using yiddish words, though. They're not PA german, so they think they're just english.

Smootzy, grexy (cranky child).....

Separate and aside, the most impressive part of Mike's operation there was that it was done in-situ and there are no marks on the upper cabinet.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
Sawing 8/4 cherry to make the base. A workout. I saw with both arms, and then as I get toward the end of the board, I'll sit if the board allows (cuts right down the middle of the board are ideal - like this one).

I saw with both arms as this takes something like 7-10 minutes (ideal sawing in cherry is about a minute foot, but some allowance for moving the board around). There's absolutely no way I could make a continuous cut with one arm for 7 minutes, but ripping with your non dominant hand is very easy within not-many cuts. Your brain already knows what it wants to see and feel from the other hand and you'll feel plenty powerful when your dominant arm is tiring.


I do have a TS - it's the kind that you can hang on a wall. It's not great for this, and nothing else that I have is accurate. Also, I'll be hand dimensioning this so it's really just a matter of busting it out of this large board and then doing as little as I have to with it to make it suitable to be cut into a base. The top will get a cove with steps at the edge. The top of each case piece will also get a moulding, but I haven't decided yet what it will be. I fancy a roman ogee with a sharp step in the middle, but it pains me to say that I'll have to sand this thing, which ruins the crispness of mouldings. If I don't, they won't take stain and pigment evenly (you read that correctly - the mrs. wants dark, and the only way I found to get dark enough without several steps of dye - which I don't like - is to buy micronized pigments and sprinkle them on while staining - the effect is wonderful).

(at this point, some folks on here are thinking that they'd never waste 7-10 minutes sawing this out, but they would try to figure out how to cut this entire board down and manhandle it around on a table saw or jointer, etc. It will take a little bit longer in total to work this by hand, but not much). The result should be uniform - each stroke of the handsaw is about 1/8th of an inch of cutting - it's pleasant work.



a good result isn't as good as a jointer then tablesaw (like good large good quality tools), but it should be fairly level along its length. Whatever I'm out of square or very slight dips with this will come out easily while planing this to finish, anyway.


The sawdust is appreciable, but not much of it is in the air.



The culprit - an old disston #7. 4 point (3 teeth per inch).



90% of the folks here and on other forums at this point are thinking "big deal". It's not, but the other 10% here who might think that you can't work by hand, and who are already bored with exercising in the first place, this is an awfully good way to go. I don't have a large machine jointer, and I don't fight a small one. The table saw doesn't have to come off of the wall and if you do manage to work on something not time critical, you can split the making and the dimensioning so that dimensioning is exercise and you can come to the shop fresh to do your normal woodworking.

(No dust collection plumbing, either).
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
That horrid thing that the saw is on is my sawbench. Made almost entirely out of a single 1x12x8.

I made it when I was just getting into using hand tools and figured I'd make a nice one later. I'll never do that .This isn't really the place for something that you'll scream about if your mind wanders and you cut into it.
 

MikeG.

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2008
Messages
10,177
Reaction score
683
Location
Essex/ Suffolk border
For 3 TPI that's quite a neat cut. Mine is 4, and somewhat messier than yours. I've possibly got a tad too much set.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
I probably don't have that much set on that saw, or in general. I don't like a tight saw that generates extra friction just to be able to boast about low set, but at the same time, I don't work with much of the cheaper softwood here (the stuff that the saw bench is made of) that is just waiting to relieve itself and squeeze a saw plate. Cherry and soft maple are cheap locally and really good pine, etc, probably costs more and would get beat up before I was done with a project.

I couldn't say much of anything about the saw setup other than it's set and filed (rake) to whatever feels right to make the job easiest - adjust if needed based on feel, sharpen fairly often, joint seldom and set only once in a while. Angles and guides and calculated amounts just make things more tedious and difficult.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
initial planing of the 9/4 piece that the base is made from. the guy who mills wood for me generally cuts things a little oversize - this 8/4 is at least 9/4 dried. post-planed thickness is still over 2 inches.

It was pretty stable. Since I'm hoping to clean this up and have it almost finish ready before adding the moulding and then subsequently mitering (all in line in that order if possible so that everything lines up nice), the milling marks are just removed with a jointer.

No dimension on it from rough to this point is off by more than a 32nd from one end to the other, only one more than a 64th (thickness is the one that's off - it's a 32nd different from one end to another).

I know you guys hate hearing me drone on about the double iron, but this is what it allows - uniform full thickness shavings end to end so that if the wood you're starting with is decent dimension, you end up with decent dimension because the shavings start, continue and end the same - if you're experiencing tearout in heavy work, then the thickness removed isn't going to be the same. This board has a tiny bit of bow in its length, which is what caused the slight difference in thickness on the bowed end. I can see this coming before I start.

at this point, I realize that i need to have my door situation figured out before I can visualize how I want the base and mouldings to be, which meant ordering hinges, so I'm waiting on those. I don't like building furniture of any type - i want to build guitars and tools and I'm looking for an excuse to set this aside for a little bit for something more interesting. But I guess I"ll make the doors next as there's no reason to put them off, and then fit the mouldings once I know what kind of door to moulding aesthetics I want. If I liked furniture more, I would've planned these out, but I don't, and I didn't. They'll be fine. Any built up areas later that would look goofy without stain will be hidden by dark stain.

I suspect this board came from a snag (not sure if you use that term in England) or a tree that feel and was on the ground for just a little bit. It's sound, but the color is a little funny and there are some borer holes and some man made holes in it :x

Peach borer in cherry is a big problem here - they make big holes, the trees weep and eventually die before they get that large. This supposed FAS piece had some pith in it at one end, which I don't like, but what can you do. There are large older trees that are past the preferred age of the borers, but they're a minority for now until this bug issue passes.





Thanks to you English folks for donating this fine older record no 8 to my collection!! Someone over there made me pay for it, though.
 

Pete Maddex

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2005
Messages
9,172
Reaction score
124
Location
Nottingham
I love my Record No8 even more so after I found it a stayset square shouldered blade and most of the chip breaker, I just had to make the end bit that everyone drops.

Pete
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
excellent!

I've dragged my feet on this project some, but am applying the mouldings to the top (at least the front - the sides I'll leave off for now until I have the two cases fitted together, otherwise, they'll just get damaged. This is a hand pressure fit of the miter (it could be made tighter, but the purpose of this cabinet won't warrant it - I'll probably do it, anyway, when glued.

I cheat a little bit when putting mortises together and roll the very tip just a tiny bit like a burnisher to close it.
https://i.imgur.com/Vywsmxi.jpg

I have to make the doors yet - you're well ahead of me. Not a huge fan of door making.
 

cookiemonster

Established Member
Joined
23 Jan 2020
Messages
52
Reaction score
5
Location
Dursley
I'm working on a small coffee or side table in oak out of leftovers from a fence. The top has breadboard ends fixed with MTs and drawbore pins, just because I haven't tried breadboard ends before. I've used handtools throughout (including for ripping and dimensioning the timber) but cheated a bit by using a tracksaw to cut the shoulders of the tenons for the breadboard ends because they need to be dead straight and I didn't trust myself to cut straight over a long distance with a handsaw.

I'm about halfway through and already learnt plenty about breadboard ends, including the importance of leaving horns (is that the right word? I mean an excess on the ends) to give you something sacrificial to hammer against when removing them (my mortices are a little tight).

I'll post some pics in due course.
 

D_W

Established Member
Joined
24 Aug 2015
Messages
6,403
Reaction score
729
Location
PA, US
finished the door sticking over the weekend (by hand, of course) and now cutting the panels. I'd anticipated making one door first just to see how it goes, but changed my mind.

This is where working by hand will cost you some time, but vs. working with cheap tools, not sure how much. To size all of the door sticking and cut these door panels from a rough board is probably hours worth of work, but they are snipe free and the sticking basically has a finished surface, needing only some clean up work after making the doors and sizing them.

https://imgur.com/gallery/FLVZDpZ

The saw is scrap except for the blade (I filed the teeth into it) -wood was offcuts from the bench and the metal bits are from a tool shroud - tool long gone. The shroud steel is so cheap and soft that it's ideal for trial projects - cuts and bends and doesn't seem to work harden or resist being worked much.

I'd like to make a better frame at some point with real hardware, but not sure I'll ever get to it. This is near the top of my list for function/aesthetic ratio. It's a workout to use, though and sharpening has to happen probably every 100 linear feet of cutting due to the large number of teeth in the cut. when it gets dull, it just rasps around and makes powder. Sharpening is quick, though - about 10 minutes since you really can't let it wear much before you'll be inclined to do it.





 
Top