August 2016 #226

The August issue features a portable, adjustable and powerful double spring pole lathe built out of construction lumber. Roy Underhill walks you through the steps to building this foot-powered lathe.

In “The Real Truth About Block Planes,” Christopher Schwarz teaches you how to set up your block plane to perform a wide variety of furniture-making tasks. You can use this versatile tool for more than just carpentry!

Turn historic, handled vessels with a pole lathe. Craft teacher Jarrod Stone Dahl shows you how to use the lathe’s reciprocating motion to make integral handles possible.

Mike Siemsen teaches you how to build a handsome, wall-hung tool till tailored to fit your handplanes, saws and more. Build one out of easy-to-find 1×10 material with step-by-step plans.

In “Lumberyard Prep,” industry expert Shannon Rogers shows how a little planning and the right questions will help you make the most out of your trip to buy lumber.

In “Tool Test,” you’ll read about the Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vise, Blue Spruce Toolworks 4″x6″ square and Naniwa’s sink bridge for sharpening stones.

In “Arts & Mysteries,” Peter Follansbee explores guild regulations differentiating joiners from carpenters in early London; Bob Flexner teaches you his “half-right rule” when encountering finishing information; George Walker takes a look at dividers in “Design Matters;” in the debut of “Hardware,” Orion Henderson tells you why the right hardware matters; Steve Branam shares how he takes an interval training approach to rigorous hand tool tasks in “End Grain;” and more.

Roy Underhill’s Double Spring Pole Lathe

Can a portable, foot-powered lathe make a believer out of you? by Roy Underhill pages 22-29 Wood turning on a spring pole lathe is all about reciprocation, all about back and forth. For example: Q: “Don’t you get tired of standing on one leg?” A: “Sure, but if you try to work the treadle...

The Real Truth About Block Planes

Armed with a little trickery, you can make the block plane perform a wide variety of tasks. by Christopher Schwarz pages 30-35 Hang around enough woodshops (or Internet discussion groups) with a block plane in your hand and you’ll eventually be derided for owning a “carpenter’s tool.” It’s a criticism that I’ve never understood....

Handled Turned Vessels

The reciprocating motion of a pole lathe makes it possible. by Jarrod Stone Dahl pages 36-41 My mind reels when trying to imagine what it would be like to be a woodworker in the era when the lathe was being developed. This was well over 3,000 years ago. Historians say the lathe is a...

Saw & Plane Till

It won’t solve a tool addiction, but it’ll make finding tools easier. by Mike Siemsen pages 42-47 You’ve no doubt seen photos of the H.O. Studley tool cabinet – the Sistine Chapel of tool cabinets. And as far as I’m concerned, Studley got it right. Yes, his tool chest is a work of art...

Lumberyard Prep

Arm yourself with a good plan (or two) and your buying trip will be a success. by Shannon Rogers pages 48-52 I have a 10″-wide piece of 8/4 purpleheart sitting on my lumber rack. I bought it eight years ago when I visited the lumberyard. I still haven’t used it. The funny thing is,...

Out on a Limb: Plus ça Change

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 6 I’ve been busy in my free time (such as it is) scurrying to prepare text files for the designer of an upcoming translation of the furniture making sections of André Jacob Roubo’s “l’Art du menuisier.” In case you’re not familiar with Roubo and his 18th-century tome, it’s basically a...

Tool Test: Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vise

This well-machined workholding device is easy to assemble and is solid. by Megan Fitzpatrick page 14 Sure, you can make your own double twin-screw vise, but you don’t have to – there are several excellent commercial options. Add to that list the new Lake Erie Toolworks Moxon Vise kit. This hard maple vise arrives...

Tool Test: Blue Spruce Toolworks 4″ x 6″ Square

by Jim McConnell page 16 One thing I always worry about with fixed-blade metal try squares (especially beautiful and expensive ones) is the reality that rough handling or an accidental drop from the workbench can knock them out of alignment and render them useless. The new 4″ x 6″ square by Blue Spruce Toolworks...

Tool Test: Naniwa Sink Bridge for Sharpening Stones

by Megan Fitzpatrick page 16 The stainless steel sink bridge from Naniwa is not a new product – but it’s a welcome new addition to my shop at home. I don’t (yet) have a dedicated sharpening area set up, so until I get around to that, I’m resorting to the laundry sink. The problem...