Hand Cut Nails You Say?

My hand cut nails arrived today!  Yes, hand cut nails, the old school way from the Tremont Nail Company.

What inspired hand cut nails to be ordered?  Chris Schwarz wrote the book The Anarchist’s Tool Chest, which is less about anarchy and more about making a hand tool storage chest.  Now when I read the book I had the intentions on making the chest but since reading I realized I have no room for it and need something more portable.   The book on the chest is a great read as Chris is a very engaging author and is worth it whether you build it or not.

The requirement of moving tools up and down stairs pushed me to the portable configuration.  I now plan on making a Paul Sellers portable tool box first, then as I find room the chest.

I ordered the nails also to make the packing box in the Joiner and The Cabinet Maker, also by Chris Schwarz and Joel Moskowitz.  This is a basic shipping box for back when we didn’t have cardboard.  Should be a fun project and will be a future post.


You can see in the photo I have Fine Finish, Clinch Rosehead, Decorative Wrought Head and Headless nails.  The main advantage to these over wire cut nails from the big box is they hold better. The other advantage is they look way cool!  You can make period furniture or even new designs an incorporate a bit of old school style and strength.  These nails won’t pop out.  Soon to be some projects where you’ll see these in practice.

Record 44 Plow Plane Arrived From England Today

Well I had a Record 43 plow plane I picked up from Jim Bode Tools for 75 bucks with shipping included.  What is a plow plane you ask?  It is a plane that cuts a groove in wood, like a dado blade on a table saw or  a straight bit on a router.  The blog Hand Made in Wood had a nice post on the Record 43.  Then as I am watching Paul Sellers Woodworking Masters Class (15 bucks a month, an absolute steal!!!!) on building a tool chest I see I need a 3/8″ plow plane.  Well crap, my Record 43 only goes to 5/16!  I read I could fit a 3/8 iron in my Record 43 but I could not find any on ebay.  I think I could have stuffed a chisel in there as well but what fun is that.

So the search began for a Record 44 when I found one on Ebay in England for 30 pounds.  No one bid on it, apparently Records are all over England and the locals must have thought it was over priced.  Well it was right priced for me.  Shipping was 20 pounds.  So a grand total of 87 dollars.  2 1/2 weeks later Fed Ex delivers it to my door 🙂 from across the ocean.

I didn’t realize it came in the original box, the top was not attached to the box as the tape had worn out but otherwise it was a barely touched plane with all the cutters.


The cutting irons all the way from 1/8″ to 9/16″  and I am told you can go bigger but who needs more than that.  I can also use these in the 43.  The grooves provide for depth of cut adjustment on the Record 45, very cool.  The irons are not razor sharp so I have some honing to do.


The plane in parts.  It came with both short and long guide bars for the fence.  That pesky lever cap that holds down the irons needs to be tied to the handle, they have a habit of jumping ship.  So much so you can find the plans to make a replacement here http://www.oocities.org/plybench/levercap.pdf. The site also has some Record history here http://www.oocities.org/plybench/record.html.


Here it is with the short guide bars installed.


And another shot of the box.


This is going to be a user.  For 162 bucks I got 2 plow planes and complete sets of irons.  They can cut grooves for panels, moldings, etc.  Its quicker and easier to set up than my router.  Alas I could have bought the Lee Valley, its pretty but its new and 275 dollars plus shipping and only adds 3 wider widths (advantage, they make left handed versions).  Can’t wait to start on Paul’s tool chest.

Zig Zag Chairs with the design from 1934.

Zig Zag Chairs, they look cool don’t they.  I saw a post from Tools For Working Wood‘s facebook page about New York Custom Contracting building a zig zag chair for a Festool demo.  I was like I have a Domino Joiner!  I should be able to make that.  So I ordered a 5’x5′ sheet of 3/4″ Baltic Birch from Boulder Lumber (free delivery! take that big box stores) that arrived in a few days since I ordered on a friday.  I have the Festool Domino 500 and thought the 8×50 domino’s should work.  I think New York Custom Contracting used 8×100’s but they must of had the Domino 700 which does crazy deep tenon’s.  The original design calls for bolts at the miters.  I think the Domino’s look nicer.

Now all I am missing are the plans!  Tools for Working Wood carries How to Construct Rietveld Furniture that gives complete measured drawings.  So I ordered up a copy and waited for it to arrive.

This is pretty straight forward, I cut  all the parts to width.  Now there are all sorts of funky angles on this chair as you can see.  I cut first to the largest width of each panel and stacked them up. 1 5×5 sheet is enough for three chairs.

I needed to set up a tenon jig, not to cut tenon’s but to cut the steep angle on the table saw.  I also picked up a CMT Digital Angle Gauge (this thing is spectacular, easy to zero, super easy to set the blade to whatever angle is needed).  My bosch contractor saw with a 80 tooth blade struggled on these miters I will not lie.  The saw did make the cuts cleanly as long as I went slow with feeding the plywood.  That steep angle makes for a very deep cut and at 80 teeth, one needs to be gentle.

With the miters cut I finished up the length cuts and the slight miter for the tilted back of the chair.  I then laid out all the parts and cut the angles on the sides with the festool TS55 Panel Saw.  Note these don’t fit perfectly as there are quite a few angles going together on the 45’s so I sanded after glue up. Sorry no pictures of the sawing.

Below is the chair mocked up before gluing.


Gluing was interesting how does one clamp these things?  I don’t have a picture but I set up some stops and used tape to hold the miter closed and upside down to the table.  Once the glue had setup I used the Domino 500 to seat a loose tenon perpendicular to each face so they lock together the miter joint.  The tenon’s will not fail as they are solid!  So its left to the ply to fail and its 3/4 Baltic Birch with many layers so not likely.


Next its glue the back on.  Easiest way to do this is with more tenon’s.  If one ever does this, that angle on the back is pesky!  Lets just say I know this from experience, you have to make sure you have the Domino lined up correctly or you are cutting a new back.  The plans call for dovetails here and well thats tricky on that angle and I love the Domino 500 so Domino’s are it.



The domino’s did not go all the way through as I did not have a 700 which can cut much deeper.  They went damn close though.  I was able to file the complete hole with a file but that was not as clean as a 700 could do.  The first chair was a mock up really so I didn’t mind experimenting.  For the next two I did not try to go all the way through.  The dominos went just beneath the surface of the other side. In fact, one burned through when sanding but that is fine I like the look.








All sanded and ready for finish.


The three of them stack nicely.


I actually sent these out for finishing as I don’t have a room or garage to spray them in.  They were sprayed with varnish.  They came out quite nicely and are a hit with the visitors.  Not bad for a sheet of plywood.


If anyone is interested in the design Tools for Working Wood carries the book which has measure metric drawings of all of Rietveld’s designs.

Set up Shop with the Naked Woodworker, Part 1

A very good summary of how not to get lost in the weeds! Power tools are very efficient at spoiling material as Mike says, I can vouch for this! I can’t wait for the DVD to come out, going to put my bench on my covered front patio.  Its not where you work its how you do it.

Lost Art Press


I hate hearing someone say: “I would get in to woodworking but I can’t afford the equipment.”

Woodworking does not have to be an expensive hobby. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. A simple workbench can be built in a day with hand tools for about $100. Many tools can be picked up at garage sales and at tool meets. Online auctions or classified sections of woodworking lists such as WoodNet are another great source, as are Craigslist and e-bay.

Do you really need stationary equipment for your hobby? Machines can be expensive – moving them, getting your shop wired, dust collection and etc. will add up quick. Many times it is quicker to do something by hand than to set up a machine or design jigs for machines to do the job.

I find that machines pay off when making multiples. It is the skills that…

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LED lit shoe cabinets

Kristen requested shoe cabinets.  Kristen has a problem, and its shoes, too many shoes.  I see no point in a collection being left in boxes as you never can see it nor enjoy it.  So the solution was some shoe cabinets.  Searching the internet we came across Ana White’s website that showed some nice shoe cabinets.  I started with their design and modified them to fit our requirements.  We chose to go with 3 cabinets, one with the same size cubicles, one with 3 different sizes of cubes and one with just shelves.  After reading the book By Hand and Eye from the Lost Art Press I now know why we like the one with the three different size cubes, they are just more appealing and proportioned.

So it begins, I went with a paint grade 3/4 ply from Paxton Lumber, about 55 a sheet.  Do yourself a favor and never buy your project plywood from the big box stores.  Go to your local hardwood supplier and you will find flat stable cabinet grade plywood.  Some big boxes are carrying some decent american ply but most do not.  Last thing you want to deal with is warped stock before you start.  I have had it warp on the way home from the big box. We have three great places, Boulder Lumber here in Boulder will give free delivery so I usually go with them.  Austin Hardwoods in denver is a great choice as well and has a great in stock selection of prefinished and cabinet grade plywoods.

The storage area of choice, the living room!  5 sheets or so.


How do we cut this down you ask?  Well with a Festool TS55 Panel Saw.  With my handy parralell guides made from Instamorph and some aluminum guides we can make quick work of this sheet stock.



All the pieces cut to width, all the same size 🙂


Now to cross cut all the dividers and the shelves.


The easy  one to work on is the straight shelf.  We did multiple test fits with the shoes and arranged the stops, depth and angle until they worked for Kristen’s size 7.  You’ll see some clamps being used.  This setup was put together with glue and Kreg pocket hole screws.  Quick and easy and would make a fine cabinet maker cringe :).



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Now the cubby style cabinets were a bit more work.  I didn’t take too many pictures.  The middle shelves, the bottom and the toe-kick are attached to the sides with pocket hole screws and glue.  The dividers were installed with biscuits and glue as I did not want to fill that many pocket holes.  The top is also attached with biscuits and glue.  If I made it again I would probably use dominos for assembly and scrap the screws.

Edge banding was next with an iron and some patience.  I should have edge banded before assembly, oops.


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Paint!  Sprayed them with a sprayer.  My sprayer sucked, had to really thin the paint.  I used a latex eggshell.  Now I would either set a spray booth up in the back yard or pay a finisher to spray them for me.



Our house is dark, lighting design is from the 1930’s.  While enjoying a sauna it occured to me we could add LED lights.  A quick search on amazon found some cheap lights, 10 bucks a roll and a transformer for 5 bucks, another 5 for a foot switch and some lamp cord and we were good to go.  Let there be light!

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Installed and filled with shoes! Feels like a Nordstrom rack some days.

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Also posted on Kristen’s blog http://www.sparklestyleshine.com/2013/03/the-ultimate-shoe-closet.html

Wood Bandsaw from Woodgears.ca

A wood bandsaw you say?  What in the world are you thinking?  Well this is not something that hasn’t been done before!  Check out woodgears.ca for complete plans and sketchup drawings.   I needed a bandsaw to resaw some maple for some night stands I wanted to build.  I have a tight attic space to work in and a standard metal one seemed to heavy and unwieldy to use or fit into my tiny shop.  So what better than a custom wood bandsaw that is light enough to take apart by one person.  The only metal parts are the shafts, bearings and motor.  I have replaced the light switch with a proper safety switch with a start stop.

I used the Festool TS55 track saw for most of the work along with a Bosch contractor saw, benchtop drill press, ryobi bench top bandsaw, a Delta surface planer and various hand tools.  This project is something a reasonably handy person with some time and ok tools can build.  Accuracy is good but most things can be shimmed for alignment in the end so don’t fret if things are off by a few millimeters here and there during glue up, etc.



All the wood here is 3/4″ pine purchased from the big box store and milled down with my old delta surface planer to the recommended thickness.  If you don’t mill it you will just have a wider saw frame which is no big deal.


The glue up begins!  You can never have too many clamps.  I used a Festool table so I could clamp it flat.

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Frame is all glued up and quite light!  Matthias did a test between his metal band saw and his wood bandsaw and had less flex on the wood.  All the laminations make it extremely strong.

Next up is the top bracket to hold the wheel and tensioner.  This was done on the table saw where I rigged up what is essentially a tenon jig to cut the slots for reinforcements.  Glued in the oak and that frame is rock solid.  A few other cuts for rabbets, etc and you end up with the picture on the right.  The shafts are stationery and do not rotate.

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The wheels I used spare baltic birch that I laminated together.  I have seen many made out of regular ply and if I didn’t have the baltic birch I probably would have used it.  You can see the bearing glued to the wheel and my non OSHA approved lathe to add the crown to the wheels.

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Wheels mounted with a blade.  Followed by the table attachments and we have a bandsaw! Though the support leg is clamped to it as there is no base and well no guards :).

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Base and guards.  You’ll notice the construction grade plywood drawers built with the box-joint jig from woodgears.ca which made for a super tight fit.  Note, I made the drawers after the bandsaw was built so I could use the bandsaw for making the box-joint gears.  I also used the bandsaw without the base to construct the bandsaw cut dovetail base out of 2x stock.


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Painted Matthias green :).  Complete.  Note: this switch is gone as you’ll see.  I realized it could be bumped on accidentally.


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Resawing some maple with my blades from timberwolfblades.com.  These have been great blades for me (even for my old ryobi benchtop).

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Works great and can even make tiny reindeer, plans available on woodgears.ca



A year out from the build and the saw still works great.  I had to replace a tire but that is it.  Great experience building it from scratch.  Its always nice to make mistakes on something that is more forgiving than a piece of fine furniture.  This was not terribly hard to do and I built it in just a few weeks.  Just over a month from start to final paint but I took some time off in between sections. It worked great resawing my maple I need for the nightstands that you will see  in a future post.