Archive

A Happy Ending for a Terrible Chair

The commercial chair as purchased.

Upholsterer Mike Mascelli was kind enough to send along some photos of what happened in his class to the terrible chair frame I wrote about this week. It’s a bit like the story of George Washington’s axe in a museum. After George died, the next owner wore out the head and replaced it. The owner after that broke the handle and replaced that. But it’s still Washington’s axe. Right? So […]

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& Frightening) Chair Construction">Typical (& Frightening) Chair Construction

The crappy frame below the upholstery.

Most modern, factory-made furniture is poorly constructed – most woodworkers agree on that point. But would you ever call it dangerous? This fall while teaching at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking, I got a moment to peek in at the upholstery class being run by Mike Mascelli, a New York-based professional who does some really incredible work. One of his students had brought in the wooden frame underlying a […]

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My Difficult Relationship With Exotics

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Being raised Protestant, guilt isn’t at the fiber of my being. But I know guilt; my wife is Catholic. And I get a feeling that resembles guilt whenever I work with tropical hardwoods. Like many woodworkers, I’ve read a lot about C.I.T.E.S., both in the mainstream media and in the woodworking world (here’s W. Patrick Edwards’s excellent take on it). But I’ve never thought that I knew enough to take […]

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Modern ‘Register Calipers’ Available from Woodpeckers

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One of my favorite tools from the Studley tool cabinet are his register calipers, which are displayed prominently on the right-hand side of the cabinet. These calipers were common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but fell out of favor when dial calipers became inexpensive. Since first encountering these locking calipers I began using them in my shop (and at the lumberyard) for a wide variety of chores. […]

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First Look: ‘Workbenches, Revised Edition’

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ShopWoodworking.com is now taking pre-orders for the new revised edition of “Workbenches: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use” for $34.99 plus free domestic shipping. The book will be released on or about Oct. 20. I spent several months earlier this year on the revision to the book and am quite pleased with the results. Most of the changes were in the section on workholding. Since the book was […]

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Boarded Scandinavian Tool Chest – Too Cool

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It takes a special tool chest to get me to sit up straight – I’ve spent the last six or seven years of my life researching and writing about tool chests. But this one, presumably Swedish, is fantastic. It was recently sold on this auction site for an astonishing sum. While the composition of all the tools, burl handles and color scheme is nice, what is most fascinating is the […]

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& Other Rough Surfaces">Smoothing Milk Paint & Other Rough Surfaces

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If your painted finish feels a little rough, you need to go to the liquor store. OK, that doesn’t make sense, so let’s back up a couple weeks when I was teaching a bunch of young woodworkers how to build a tool chest by hand at the Marc Adams School of Woodworking. After building the 18 chests, we finished most of them with milk paint, a modern and quite easy […]

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& Tenon Workshop">Mortise & Tenon Workshop

The latest Mortise & Tenon workshop was held October 3-4, 2015. For this class we make a pair of Krenov-style shop stands, using both blind and through mortises and a bridle joint. These stands are remarkably useful and utilitarian, most folks end up making several pairs for use in the shop. We used some 4/4 ash in this case, I’ve made them from maple, oak, cherry, poplar, even kiln dried spruce 2×3’s from the big box store.

[See image gallery at www.dfcabinetmaker.com]

 

 

Stair Landing Display Cabinets

Our client had a stairwell running up through the center of his house. On one of the landings, he had a wall with 22” of unused space behind it and wanted display cabinets sunk into the wall. We treated it much like a fireplace mantle as he wanted a very rich looking face and surrounding woodwork.

We were to design, build and install the unit. It had to match what mouldings existed there already.

Here’s a early construction pic in the shop / notice that the columns, left & right, sit on the sheetrock and the cabs run deeper, back within the wall. My son, Brian did the majority of the build. By the time he’s my age, he will have passed me in his grasp of this skill.

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We added the top (which was to act as a shelf) and primed it.

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Here it is installed…

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Once the paint was finished, the knobs were attached & the glass inserted…. our client sent me this finish shot as he was so pleased.

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I thought it looked pretty good too…….

Russell Hudson / Hudson Cabinetmaking, inc.

 

& Sliding Dovetails">A Tip for Handsawing Rabbets & Sliding Dovetails

Before: This is how I was cutting sliding dovetails and rabbets by hand.

I’ve been cutting a lot of large-scale sliding dovetails and rabbets lately. And when these housed joints get to a certain size (think of a dovetail socket that is 4” wide and 30” long) it’s much more efficient to saw out the walls by hand. When I need the rabbets or sliding dovetails to be bang-on, I clamp a batten to my work to guide the saw. I use a […]

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