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Permission to Sand – Granted!

Permission to Sand – Granted!

I’m always bemused by woodworkers who boast that they never use sandpaper. I usually say something to them such as: “Then I guess you don’t like old-school technology.” When they look confused, I add: “Egyptians used sandstone to abrade wood flat. Sanding is older technology than planing, which is a Greek or Roman invention.” As Continue reading»

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My Millwork Outlet Christmas Wishlist

Like most people who work in retail, I have a long list of things I would love to have from the store where I work. Every day I get to hear about all the different ways our customers are remodeling and improving their homes and it makes me think about all the projects I hope to get to one day. I know I am not the only person who has taken a walk around the Millwork Outlet and added to my personal wishlist. The problem is that the Millwork Outlet is often times the last place people think to go to buy a Christmas gift. However, every year I get a few customers who are brave enough to go out on a limb, skip the busy malls and give a gift that keeps on giving for years and years. 

Last year I had a guy bring in his mother-in-law and pick out a new front door for his wife. We prehung the door, installed the door knob and called a super secret number when it was ready to make sure it was a surprise. He hid it in his shed complete with a bow until Christmas morning. When he returned to purchase his back door a few months later he told us how excited his wife was on Christmas morning and how beautiful the new door looks.

I also had a older gentleman who had been in a few times with his grandson who had recently purchased his first home. He bought him a $100 gift certificate because he knew he needed a new front door and figured the $100 would go further at the Millwork Outlet than it would at the Home Depot. If there is someone on your list who is looking for new doors, windows, moulding or reclaim materials we would really appreciate it if you would consider shopping at the Millwork Outlet this holiday season. 

Below I have included my own Millwork Outlet Christmas Wishlist. Now I just need to figure out how to get my husband to check it out :) 

Venise's Millwork Outlet Christmas List 

  • A new custom raw edge maple slab coffee table
  • A new door knob for my front door 
  • A new 10 lite hemlock exterior door with hinge match
  • A reclaim crown shelf 
  • Quarter round moulding installed around my baseboard 
  • New shaker style cabinet doors for my kitchen 
  • Reclaim wood to be used as chair rail in my dining room 
  • Custom built reclaim wood picnic table for my back yard 
  • PVC brickmold for my entry door



 

Roorkhee Details to Avoid Disaster

Roorkhee Details to Avoid Disaster

Roorkhee chairs are tough and lightweight – they have to be in order go to war or on safari. To make your chairs as durable and lightweight as possible, here are some details to consider as you build your own. (What’s a Roorkhee chair? Read about them in the October 2012 issue of Popular Woodworking Continue reading»

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Interesting Workbench at the Ta’ Kola Windmill

Interesting Workbench at the Ta' Kola Windmill

Finding a French-style workbench with a twin-screw vise is somewhat uncommon. And so what furniture maker Nick Webb stumbled upon on the Mediterranean island of Gozo is even more unusual. The bench is in the carpenter’s shop of the Ta’ Kola Windmill, an 18th-century structure on the island. The bones of the bench are fairly Continue reading»

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Hot Time in the Old Town …

hot

1500°F

With my lab furnace ready for action, I needed a good first project. I have an old Stanley 103 block plane that needed a blade, so I prepared a blank from 1/8″ O-1 tool steel. I rough ground a bevel in the annealed steel to save time later on. I also volunteered to make a run of small plane blades for a project my woodworker’s group is doing — making “itty-bitty” planes —  so I prepared two blanks of each size (1/2″ x 1″ x 1/32″, and 3/4″ x 2″ x 1/16″) as a test run. In all I had five pieces ready for firing.

My friend Ron Hock recommends peanut oil for quenching O-1 steel, so I had a gallon of that on hand. A trip to Harbor Freight tools yielded a 16″ long needlenose plier that would serve as tongs, as well as some cheap long-cuff welder’s gloves. I bought a single firebrick and a stainless steel woven mat from Lonnie’s, and created my ‘stilt’ from that. Nothing for it now but to fire the thing up.

I ran the furnace up to 1500°F and let the pieces ‘soak’ at that temp for a good 20 minutes.    I then pulled each piece out separately with my ‘tongs’ and quenched in the peanut oil. While the steel rested I shut the furnace off and opened the door to let the internal temp drop, monitoring it with the digital PID readout. Meanwhile I descaled the steel and polished some of it to clean metal, in order to see the color produced in tempering. I also performed the only hardness test available to me, testing the edges of the pieces with a file — which simply skipped off the metal, indicating a dead-hard condition.

After the furnace had cooled considerably, I found I was able to keep the residual heat in the furnace right at 400°F by cracking the door open just so. I loaded the semi-polished steel back onto the stilt platform and monitored the ‘soak’ for almost one hour. At that point the polished steel revealed a uniform ‘straw’ color, typical of a 400°F temper, so out they came. I polished the backs, ground and polished the bevels, and voila! — sharp tools! The Rockwell is theoretically 61-63RC at 400°F, so perhaps a little harder than some would like. We’ll see how they do in use. I’ll have to make 20 or so of each of the small blade sizes for the group project.

The furnace worked perfectly, and exactly as expected. I’m excited about making more plane blades, as well as knife blades and other specialty tools such as Innuit-style crooked knives.

 

 

The Holdfast in Your Backyard

The Holdfast in Your Backyard

We have iron planes and wooden planes. Iron vises and wooden ones. Iron clamps and wooden ones. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that you can have a wooden holdfast. But it does. Carpenter and researcher Jeff Burks passed me this clipping from a 1930 edition of Popular Mechanics, which discusses the “barilette,” which Continue reading»

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It’s time to start thinking about where you’ll hang your stockings this year! 

Every year come Thanksgiving time we get bombarded with people who are looking for a new mantel. It seems as though everyone forgets about updating their mantel until the Christmas boxes come out of the attic and the family stockings are dusted. If you are in the market for a new mantel I would highly suggest you start your project now to make sure it is ready for all your visiting family, friends and if you've been good all year, old Saint Nick. Because each mantel is unique and there is no "standard" size almost every mantel is custom built. When you start shopping for mantels it is best to have all your measurements, a picture of your existing mantel and hearth as well as a few pictures of mantels you like. You can see a few of my favorites below. For more ideas you can also view our pinterest page at https://pinterest.com/MillworkOutlet/christmas-mantels/ 

 

It’s time to start thinking about where you’ll hang your stockings this year! 

Every year come Thanksgiving time we get bombarded with people who are looking for a new mantel. It seems as though everyone forgets about updating their mantel until the Christmas boxes come out of the attic and the family stockings are dusted. If you are in the market for a new mantel I would highly suggest you start your project now to make sure it is ready for all your visiting family, friends and if you've been good all year, old Saint Nick. Because each mantel is unique and there is no "standard" size almost every mantel is custom built. When you start shopping for mantels it is best to have all your measurements, a picture of your existing mantel and hearth as well as a few pictures of mantels you like. You can see a few of my favorites below. For more ideas you can also view our pinterest page at https://pinterest.com/MillworkOutlet/christmas-mantels/ 

 

Erik Mortensen’s Awesome English Workbench

Erik Mortensen’s Awesome English Workbench

I see a lot of workbenches. Lots of them are gorgeous. Many of them are tough. Few benches are both. Last weekend at Woodworking in America in Pasadena, Calif., I got to use a massive Nicholson-style workbench made by Erik Mortensen, an instructor at Cerritos College. For the most part, the bench is made from Continue reading»

The post Erik Mortensen’s Awesome English Workbench appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

Erik Mortensen’s Awesome English Workbench

Erik Mortensen’s Awesome English Workbench

I see a lot of workbenches. Lots of them are gorgeous. Many of them are tough. Few benches are both. Last weekend at Woodworking in America in Pasadena, Calif., I got to use a massive Nicholson-style workbench made by Erik Mortensen, an instructor at Cerritos College. For the most part, the bench is made from Continue reading»

The post Erik Mortensen’s Awesome English Workbench appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

 

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