Archive for the ‘Woodworking Master Class’ Category

Walking Cane

July 11, 2014 Leave a comment

While I was milling lumber for the shop stool, I also milled a couple of pieces of oak for making a walking cane. One of the projects in Paul Seller’s Masterclasses is a cane and the curves look like a great challenge. I have done very little carving and this should be a great project to discover new skills.



Dimensioning the lumber was quick since there are only two pieces, the handle and the cane itself. The cane is tapered from top to bottom and I used my panel saw to make the taper. This is the same saw that I blogged about a year ago. It is one of the most useful saws I have and is perfect for making cuts such as this tapered cut. Keep an eye out for a used one, you will be very happy with it.




After smoothing all of the pieces I roughed out the shape of the handle and located where the mortise and tenon will lie. After cutting all the mortises in pine for the shop stool I am glad to be working with oak again. The softness of the pine makes it more difficult to work and much easier to dent.


Shop Stool Tenons

July 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Since finishing the mortises last week, I suppose the next step is cutting tenons and since I have taken very few photographs you will just have to trust that it was hot, humid and I did them all myself without any help.







I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Shop Stool Mortises Repeat

June 29, 2014 Leave a comment

There were many good comments on my blog after the post showing the blow out in the leg while chiseling a mortise. Fortunately this occurred on the first leg, although the last mortise. While studying the problem I came to the realization that I needed to re-think where the mortises were placed.




The first picture shows the original mortises. they are placed on the same corner and as such do not allow for a very long tenon. Since this is a shop stool it will be subject to lots of abuse and I don’t think it will last long with such a short tenon. The picture below shows the relocated mortises which has tripled the length of the tenons. Thank goodness for the mistake, I only ended up re-wroking one leg not all four and will have a much stronger stool.


Shop Stool Mortises

June 28, 2014 5 comments

Finally I have the opportunity to make progress on the stool. Taking the time to carefully lay out the angle and mortises, I begin to chop out the joints. There are two jigs that I am using to hold the correct angles shown in the picture.


I almost finished the last mortise on the first leg when I heard a crunch and felt the chisel drop. A groan rose into my throat as I thought that I had chiseled through the leg. However the wood split along the grain, something that I can hopefully repair with a little glue and clamps at the end of the day.


Shop Stool –

June 22, 2014 1 comment

Seems that over the last couple of months little has been accomplished, between soccer games, work and a large increase in my running mileage there has been not enough time left for woodworking. Fortunately soccer is over for the season so I can tackle some of the projects that continue to sit on my bench. First up the shop stool….. Today was dedicated to stock preparation.


Picking up a couple of boards from the local home improvement store I spent a couple of hours milling the boards and cutting to size. I enjoy milling wood by hand, however with  the humidity in the high 70’s I opted for the power tools and spent as little time as possible on this part of the project.

I finished up the day by hand planing all of the edges. There’s nothing like the sound and feel of a blade slicing through wood. This week I hope to find enough time to lay out all of the joints and determine the leg angles, leaving the chopping of mortises for next weekend.

I want the stool to become an invitation for visitors to stop by and spend a little time learning about hand tools. Oh and I was just reminded that summer league soccer starts mid week…..

Curved Plane

February 1, 2014 Leave a comment



I noticed on Joe McGlynn’s blog a few weeks ago that Flair woodworks was having a stool build and was looking forward to participating. Watching the weather it became clear that spending a day in my garage wasn’t going to happen. I have two small heaters that do a decent job of warming my work area, however I can only raise the temperature 20-25 degrees, since it’s been hovering around zero for the last few weeks I have made a few short forays into the garage but have not settled into a project. The last report shows that I may have a couple more weeks to wait.

My next project will be a shop stool and I have milled a few pieces of lumber in anticipation. Most of my time has been spent making a curved plane for smoothing the seat. A couple of scrap pieces of maple make up the body.



Categories: Curved Plane, Tools

Small Tool Chest – Goes to Work

January 12, 2014 14 comments

Here it is! A completed Paul Sellers’s design tool chest!


A quick run down of the chest’s features and joinery. 

20131019-200250.jpg 20131026-202544.jpgThe carcass of the tool chest is made from 7/8″ Sapele as a single box, then separated with a hand saw to produce the lid. The rail between the two drawers has a mortised dovetail that adds additional strength and a little character that is missed unless you look carefully.  This portion of the project provides great opportunity to practice not only joinery skills, but hand planing skills. When the lid and box are separated it takes some time to get the required fit. The ever changing grain of the Sapele added to the challenge.

Hand cut mortise and tenon joints are used to produce the top and bottom frames. The top panels were raised by hand using a #4 stanley plane and the grooves with a veritas plow plane.


Building the drawers required half blind dovetail joints, a housing dado with wedged through tenons and drawer pulls.



Finally the chest was finished with two coats of shellac and two coats of polyurethane followed with wax. A very satisfying project with many enjoyable techniques. This is a project from Paul Seller’s Masterclass Series. As tools begin to fill the drawers, my mind wanders to future projects; stools, desks, chests and other great challenges.

Small Tool Chest – Installing Hinges

January 12, 2014 3 comments

Installing hinges has never been a difficult task as long as they are marked carefully and care is taken to chisel to the gauge lines, corners are cleaned well and the bottom is level. installing the screws is where my problems begin.




I used an awl to mark the center of the holes. drilled carefully, added soap to ease the screws in and installed 11 of twelve with no problem.However I must have shortchanged the brass gods; therefore the requisite broken screw AAAGGGHHHHHH!.


Making a Drawer Pull

December 29, 2013 1 comment

20131228-124952.jpg Purchasing drawer knobs and pulls in a store  always leaves me with a sense of impending doom. A regular maintenance item around the house seems to be the pull from a cabinet, knob from a drawer or door knob falling off. It isn’t the knob or pull that is at fault but the method that is used to fasten it to the door or drawer.

I laugh when my mind pictures the look on my children’s faces as a knob comes off in their hand. It is a look of puzzlement and amazement. Puzzlement because the drawer did not open, and amazement that they have a super human strength that can separate a knob from a drawer.



Fresh from reattaching a kitchen drawer pull, a smile appeared on my face when Paul Sellers’s posted a video on woodworking masterclasses that demonstrated how to make and install a drawer pull for the small tool chest. Covering my bench with tools, shavings and glue I managed to take a two hour process and turn it into an all day project……

The drawer pull begins with four pieces of wood, carefully milled flat and square. The top and bottom of the pull are made from 3/16″ material . The pieces are curved along the length and the edges rounded over. I made the curve using a chisel and #4 plane, smoothing the curve with a rasp. The edges are rounded over with a mill file and the piece is sanded smooth.

Next I take on of the two pieces of 1q/2″ x 5/8″ and cut the tail of a dovetail, then I cut the tail in half so that I can create a half lap joint in the center of the other piece.















Once the pieces are glued together I used a chisel and rasp to cure the  piece to match the curve on the other two pieces. Then I glue all of the pieces together and use my clamp to hold them in place until the glue dries.















When the glue is dry a little sanding and the pull is complete. Repeating the process produces a second pull for the other drawer.

These pulls are made from scraps of Sapele from the chest, but I can see possibilities of using different colors of wood to produce different effects. imagine the look a this pull with the center piece made of walnut or blood wood. It’s been a great day and I am very satisfied with the results. Now I have to wait for the hinges, install the pulls and do a little final fit and finish.





Small Tool Chest – Drawers

December 25, 2013 Leave a comment

20131215-184953.jpgWith the pinned housing joints complete, only a couple of steps left to complete the drawer. Mahogany plywood was cut to fit into the grooves and slid into place. I carefully drilled holes for 5 screws that will hold it. I then cut several 1.5″ pieces of wood and glued them into the edges of the drawer and bottom of the plywood. When the glue dries it will tighten the drawer bottom and prevent any banging of the plywood in the groove. You’re saying to yourself – what about expansion…….hopefully with plywood there will be very little.

Another design aspect that you may not have picked up, the back of the drawer is 2.5 inches in from the end of the sides. When the drawer is open the back can align with the case without the drawer falling out of its slot. If you are like me, anything buried in the last few inches gets lost anyway.

Next? I have to install hinges (in the mail somewhere), make drawer pulls (they’re a great design), and smooth the case….Have a Great Christmas!