Quotulatiousness

November 21, 2017

Which Plane Should I Buy First? | Paul Sellers

Filed under: Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Paul Sellers
Published on 10 Nov 2017

Which plane should I buy first? A common question for beginner woodworkers. Paul goes through a few different models to show where he would recommend most.

For more information on these topics, see https://paulsellers.com or https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com

November 18, 2017

The Best Way to Set Up a Bandsaw!

Filed under: Technology, Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

The Wood Whisperer
Published on 6 Jul 2017

Back in 2007, I posted a video on Bandsaw Setup. The method I demonstrated was one I learned from other woodworkers as well as numerous books and manuals. While the method works perfectly, it overcomplicates things and employs a couple of unnecessary steps, namely achieving coplanarity of the wheels and eliminating drift. Four years later, I became aware of a video from The Woodworking Shows featuring Alex Snodgrass and his simpler (and nearly foolproof) method for bandsaw tuneup. I have since become friendly with Alex and asked him if he’d be willing to come out to my shop to film his setup method. He agreed and here we are! I can say without a doubt that this is the BEST way to set up a bandsaw.

Align the Blade

Install the blade and apply just enough tension to keep the blade securely on the wheels. Use the tracking adjustment while turning the wheel by hand to line up the deepest part of the gullet with the center of the top wheel.

Tension the Blade

You can usually ignore the tenon meter on most bandsaws as they are notoriously inaccurate. Instead, tension the blade until your finger is only able to deflect the blade by about 1/4″. This test should be done at the back of the saw where nothing can get in the way of the blade. The amount of pressure you apply to the blade shouldn’t result in turning your finger white. If that happens, you’re pushing too hard. After the tension is set, make sure the blade is still tracking properly with the gullet in the center of the top wheel.

Side Guides (Front to Back)

The front of the side guides should be located about 1/16″ back from the deepest part of the blade gullets. You don’t want the side guides to contact the cutting teeth of the blade since the teeth flare out at a slight angle. This adjustment is made to both the top and bottom guides.

Thrust Bearings

Adjust the thrust bearings carefully so that they do NOT rotate while the blade moves, but they DO begin to rotate as soon as light pressure is applied to the blade. Spend the necessary time to get this adjustment just right. Of course, you’ll do this adjustment to both the top and bottom guides.

Side Guides (Side to Side)

Just like the thrust bearing adjustment, the side guides should be as close to the blade as possible without actually touching. So when the blade moves the bearings should be stationary. When a slight amount of pressure is applied to the blade as its moving, the bearings should spin.

Square the Table

Using a 2×4 or 2×6, make a partial cut into the face of the board. Turn the saw off, flip the board around and try to get the blade to slide into the cut slot. If it slides in easily and without resistance, we know the table is 90 degrees to the blade. If it doesn’t slide in, make adjustments to the table and cut/test again. The wider the board is, the more accurate this test will be.

Align the Fence

The fence can be aligned parallel with the body of the blade using nothing more than a ruler. Be sure the ruler is resting on the body of the blade between the teeth. With a long enough ruler you can easily align the fence by eye. Alex shows us the F.A.S.T system which is a simple and convenient way to do this same task.

Test Cut

Since the overall goal of this setup process is to prepare for resawing, a good test is to slice off a thin veneer from a jointed and planed board. In our first test cut we were able to slice off a piece that was .016″ or just over 1/64″. This is way thinner than anything I’d ever need but it’s pretty cool to see that the saw is capable of making such a delicate cut.

Special thanks to Alex Snodgrass and Carter Products for helping make this video possible. Happy bandsawing!

November 7, 2017

How To: Make French Cleat Storage

Filed under: Woodworking — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Make It Now
Published on 22 Dec 2016

Today I’m going to be adding some storage options for the French cleat wall I built a little while back. If you haven’t seen that video, check it out and then come back to this one.

October 27, 2017

How to Make Small Dovetail Boxes | Episode 3 | Paul Sellers

Filed under: Woodworking — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Paul Sellers
Published on 16 Oct 2017

This is one of our very early Woodworking Masterclasses series from 2013. In the third episode of this dovetail series Paul finishes the simple chisel tray. Watch it carefully. This episode shows quite simple steps but it contains some great, and quite complicated, planing techniques.

October 23, 2017

It’s legal to sell 2×4 lumber that’s not actually 2″ by 4″

Filed under: Business, Law, Woodworking — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Not only is it legal, that’s the way construction lumber has been marketed and sold for decades. A recent Illinois case against US DIY chain Menards was dismissed recently:

A federal judge has slammed the door on the Illinois lumber shoppers who sued Menards claiming it deceived them about the size of its 4x4s.

Saying no reasonable consumer would regard Menards’ descriptions of its lumber the way plaintiffs Michael Fuchs and Vladislav Krasilnikov said they did, the judge last week dismissed the would-be class action lawsuit against the Wisconsin-based home-improvement chain.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Edmond Chang throws out a case in which Menards was accused of deception because it marketed and labeled its 4x4s without specifying that the boards measure 3½ by 3 ½ inches.

So-called dimensional lumber — 2x4s, 4x4s, 2x6s and such — is commonly sold by names that do not specify the measurements of the pieces. The longstanding industry convention is recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, which distinguishes between the “nominal” designations for pieces of lumber and their actual size. The department says a 2×4, for example, can measure 1½ inches thick by 3½ inches wide.

The distinction between the name and the actual dimensions stems from the fact that lumber, when it is produced, typically is trimmed to smooth it after the initial rough cut, Chang said in his decision.

October 22, 2017

IKEA’s strengths and weaknesses, from a consumer point of view

Filed under: Business, Europe, Woodworking — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 03:00

Paul Sellers posted an article on his woodworking blog, reacting to some British journalists praising IKEA’s “democratisation of design”:

Visually neat and relatively cheap at first glance, but they are basic and they resolve the need in a new and young family for storage. The pinnacle of three-dimensional cubism!
(photo from PaulSellers.com)

Yup! a couple of newspaper writers (maybe more, knowing British journalism) reported the same thing in a short space of time, both hailing IKEA as a ‘democratising’ force revolutionising people’s perspectives on furniture design. Both articles were interesting in the way some articles can be, you know, not contributing much to society really, but time filling on a lazy Sunday. What actually struck me most between their somewhat opposing points of views was the unifying thread in their use of the terms “democratisation of design” and “democratising design and the theme of creating affordable, non-fusty furniture for the masses.” As far as I have seen through the years it is not so much IKEA’s ability to design but more their ability to produce zero- or minimalist-design products that seem less to be concepts of style, shape or form but mostly the selling of square-edged, styleless, plank-type items in the form of very, very plain boxes. Yes, I do understand the needs of young families for low cost storage and first year students to furnish their rooms, but democratisers of design!

Unpretentious though their lines are, you can hardly say they are designs so much as meagre assemblies and of course assemblies you generally have to take care in the way they are used because the selling points are their lightweight cheapness, transportability, dismantle-ability and simple (or complex) self-assembly products. You might be better to strike out into similar fashion statements rejecting the classics of old and adopt an equally classless line of unimagination by using old scaffold planks for dining tables and benches or, say, a shipping pallet coffee table on commercial galvanised swivel casters.

Elizabeth and I used to enjoy visiting a furniture store up in Peterborough, but about a year or so back, they stopped carrying the kind of furniture we liked and started stocking exactly the sort of stuff Paul is talking about. Industrial chic is all very well, but these pieces looked like they’d been thrown together at the last possible second as a student project for a college design course: the industrial fittings were cobbled together as crudely and as shoddily as possible, with no eye to either aesthetics or sturdiness. They were literally props that might appear in the background of a Victorian or Edwardian shop floor scene in an off-, off-, off-Broadway kind of production.

I’m far from a curmudgeon on the topic of home decor and furniture, but the pieces in that store were expensive crap. You can do the industrial chic look, or more modern variations using cast-offs from all sorts of places. My friend Brendan, in his first couple of apartments, had no spare cash at all so he scrounged up pretty much all of his furniture from around town. He had the weirdest collection of decades-old store signs, former display cabinets from different eras, and I don’t know what else, but he has a great eye for design, so no matter how eclectic it all was, he managed to make it look appealing and (somehow) integrated. That was clearly the ideal for the owners of the Peterborough furniture store, but they missed the mark by a very large amount.

I never liked lazy, press-release type journalism (as we are used to in British woodworking magazines) because it can be the same as lazy design work; both lacking any true imagination. But the two authors, each celebrating IKEA’s birth for opposite and then too the same reasons, seemed more focussed on this issue of IKEA somehow ‘democratising’ something rather than considering what could be in essence more a diktat. I question whether IKEA makes products that people actually want or makes people want what they make by virtue of cheapness and driving out competition, but then what do I know? I know this though, IKEA only sells what it wants you to buy, sells stuff so cheap that no one else can compete, and devalues the market by forcing down prices to a level that promotes mainly quite dumbed down designs. I don’t ever recall much in IKEA’s selling centres that I would describe as at all imaginative. People buy there because it’s cheap. To zone in on the reporting world, on Beeb 4 a day later a reporter interviewed some head of IKEA UK and allowed way too much waffling claptrap boasting IKEA’s products were now no longer going into the landfill after a short lifespan as the reporter suggested, which is of course absolutely true, but onto the secondhand market, which IKEA wants to include in its ‘widening circle of circulation’.

[…]

On the one hand Rhiannon Cosslett article in the Guardian describes IKEA accurately as the “symbol of impermanence”, but she also follows the same track as India Knight in stating that this IKEA is enabling people to shed their ties with “snobbery regarding middle-class home decoration”. The woman reporting in the Times, India Knight, describes the pretension of owning a semi (duplex, USA) and adding furniture that emulates the chintz (a word used in the two articles) of the rich and famed owners living in UK mansions past as a kind of mindless hypocrisy. I agree to some degree, but then there are those millions of others who follow the IKEA trending in equally mindless ways buying into its philosophies purely on the basis that it’s IKEA, as though IKEA holds the keys to concepts of good design. This, in my mind at least, shows how lacking we can become in discerning just what a good design is. I might liken IKEA designs to all the nations County Councils use of standardised street and buildings signage. Yes, they work effectively, but only because they have a created dull and unimaginative examples that stand out because of dullness. The main difference here of course is that for safety reasons the County Councils have a get out clause. I have yet to walk through an IKEA store without thinking (smelling too) MDF, pressed fibreboard, resins and plastic but how is it even possible that any company could put so much effort into creating so much artificiality.

Nope, not plywood, faux ply ‘engineered hollow core particle board.’
(Photo from PaulSellers.com)

October 20, 2017

How to Make Small Dovetail Boxes | Episode 2 | Paul Sellers

Filed under: Woodworking — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Paul Sellers
Published on 9 Oct 2017

This is one of our very early Woodworking Masterclasses series from 2013. In this second episode Paul continues to show how to cut the dovetail and also shows how to prepare the box for glue-up. This requires a few hand plane tricks that will prove helpful in future projects and are well worth watching! Enjoy!

For more information on these topics, see https://paulsellers.com or https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com

October 12, 2017

How to Make Small Dovetail Boxes | Episode 1 | Paul Sellers

Filed under: Woodworking — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Paul Sellers
Published on 2 Oct 2017

In this first episode of one of our first Woodworking Masterclasses series, Paul shows how to prepare the wood and cut the tails for the dovetails. These steps will be repeated for other boxes in this series. It will show how the basics can be adapted to more complex projects.

For more information on these topics, see https://paulsellers.com or https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com

September 29, 2017

How to Make a Sharpening Plate Holder | Paul Sellers

Filed under: Woodworking — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Paul Sellers
Published on 18 Sep 2017

The sharpening plate holder is used daily and is a vital part of Paul’s sharpening system. Paul shows how to make your own using just a few hand tools. It holds the stones securely, keeping them in order from coarse to fine, which means you can easily pull it out and be ready for a quick sharpen.

For more information on these topics, see https://paulsellers.com or https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com

September 26, 2017

7 Easy Shed Organizing Projects

Filed under: Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

April Wilkerson
Published on 10 Sep 2017

September 21, 2017

The Paul Sellers’ Mortise & Tenon Method | Paul Sellers

Filed under: Technology, Woodworking — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 11 Sep 2017

Paul has developed his own system for cutting mortise and tenon joints using a conventional hand router plane to create perfectly sized mortise and tenons that are accurately aligned. This system will revolutionise the way you think about mortise and tenon joinery.

September 11, 2017

5 Woodworking Cuts You Need to Know How to Make | WOODWORKING BASICS

Filed under: Technology, Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 9 Jun 2017

Sometimes the terminology gets confusing, so in this BASICS episode, I’ll break down the 5 basic types of woodworking cuts and how to make them.

September 2, 2017

Making zero clearance table saw inserts

Filed under: Technology, Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 13 May 2012

Showing the steps for making a zero clearance table saw insert
http://woodgears.ca/delta_saw/insert.html

September 1, 2017

Mis-placing Your Plane? | Paul Sellers

Filed under: Technology, Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 21 Aug 2017

Paul shows how he handles and places his bench plane in the day to day of woodworking for practical use.

For more information on these topics, see https://paulsellers.com or https://woodworkingmasterclasses.com

August 31, 2017

QotD: Standardized production versus customization

Filed under: Business, Quotations, USA, Woodworking — Tags: — Nicholas @ 01:00

Standardization is the inevitable byproduct of industrialization. Yes, mass-market frocks do not fit as well as custom-made ones; yes, cabinets rolled out of factories by the thousands do not fit their owners as well as ones hand-made by your friendly local carpenter. That’s because the amount of additional labor required to customize handmade cabinets and sink installations to the height of the chef is trivial, and adds little to the cost of the job. On the other hand, stopping your assembly line and retooling to produce a different size adds quite a lot of cost. So does carrying multiple sizes of cabinets in inventory.

Arndt lightheartedly suggests going to customized kitchens, perhaps do-it-yourself ones. I suggest that Arndt price the tool kit that would be needed to make your own reasonably functional and attractive kitchen cabinets. Be sure to add in, too, the hours of labor that would be needed to do this, and the space you’d need in your home to build said cabinets. Go price custom cabinets, versus the one-size-fits-most available from Ikea or your local big box retailer. Compare these numbers. Suddenly you see why women happily embraced mass-produced kitchens that weren’t quite the ideal height.

Megan McArdle, “Kitchen Design Isn’t Sexist. It Liberated Women”, Bloomberg View, 2015-10-18.

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