Workbenches and WIA

Sorry I haven't posted in so long. Since the great fun we had at WIA in St. Charles, IL I have been busy getting ready for a class here at Mike Siemsen's School of Woodworking with Garrett Hack. I just finished building two more benches today. I have also recently built a base for a vintage top and rebuilt a bench that I built over 19 years ago, lowering it to 34" from 42" and removing the Record and Emmert iron vises and fitting it with wooden vises of my own making. I hope Garrett likes working at it. It is 96 inches long.

Woodworking in America, Hand Tool Olympics. What to expect

There are six events in the upcoming Hand Tool Olympics to be held during the WIA Conference in St. Charles. I will explain the events so that you will know what to expect and you can practice if you wish. The tools pictured are not the tools you will use but are representative of them. All of the lumber used will be clear pine, no knots!

WIA Prizes

Here are pictures of some of the prizes that will be awarded to participants in the WIA Hand Tool Olympics.

Woodworking in America, Hand Tool Olympics, St. Charles, Illinois

I have been working with Glen Huey of Popular Woodworking to design a Hand Tool Olympics for WIA near Chicago. Here is the „official“ press release. I hope to see you there sawing! Mike

Announcing the ‚Hand Tool Olympics‘ at Woodworking in America

In sports, you need to compete against a superior player to improve your own game.

So to make you a more skilled tool user, we're holding a „Hand Tool Olympics“ at our Woodworking in America conference in St. Charles, Ill., this August.

Olympic feats

I have been busy working with Glen Huey of Popular Woodworking on designing a Woodworking Olympics for the Woodworking in America Conference in St. Charles, Illinois.The conference takes place on August 14–16. We have come up with several fun events, a couple of which involve sawing. I am donating some saws so I have been busy rebuilding several handsaws to use during the competition and then award as prizes. They will be fine tuned and sharpened by Mark Harrell of TechnoPrimitives.

Sam Maloof, Woodworker, January 24, 1916 - May 21, 2009

No man is an island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

John Donne

Good Housekeeping

Sorry, I am not talking about the magazine! This is safety week and woodworkers are putting out their safety tips.

3M PPS spray finishing system

I spray a lot of my finishes, stains, dyes, lacquer and shellac all go through guns in my makeshift spray booth. I use an inexpensive Harbor Freight HVLP conversion gun (item # 43430) which I was happy enough with until I was introduced to a new product at a Minnesota Woodworkers Guild Meeting. The PPS system made my old cup obsolete. My gun is still good to go with the addition of an adapter provided by John Zoia, the 3M rep.

Spoke Pointers and Hollow Augers

During the course of the Windsor chair class we needed to make some 11/16 round tenons on the bow for the back of the chair. We decided to tune up some hollow augers and give them a try. You start with a spoke pointer (also called a fore auger), a cone shaped device that shapes the end of a square piece of wood to a cone. This gives you a round place to start your hollow auger from. Then turning the auger the same way as you would a regular auger bit you make a round tenon. The cutter at the end of the auger works somewhat like a block plane on end grain. We tried out a couple of different ones we had on hand. I find these an interesting tool. At one time they were fairly common because every wheel had wooden spokes in it.

Windsor Chair Class, completing what we started

The next two weekends found us shaping seats and spindles, drilling holes in the seat and putting in legs, bows and spindles. Let it suffice to say there are many holes in a chair set at odd angles and not a square place to measure from! There are several tricks, some involving lasers and mirrors and others just good old eyeballing to get the job done. Once the parts were glued and wedged in place the chair became a ridgid, strong and beautiful structure. I must admit that I got so involved in making the chair that I forgot to photograph on the last weekend!

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