A number of years ago, the Canadian government made a commitment to create a multi-use trail from one end of Canada to the other. The most westerly leg of this trail is on Vancouver Island and part of the trail includes an impressive journey over one of the longest wooden trestle brides in the world. The trestle began live as a rail road trestle for carrying logs and ore from remote regions on Vancouver Island to the coast for processing and shipping. Construction began in 1911 but due to the First World War, completion was not until 1921.
Originally named the Koksilah River Trestle, but for the locals the trestle's close proximity to the old King Solomon Mine, the trestle started to be referred to "Kin Sol" trestle, and the name stock to what it is today, the Kinsol Trestle.
Working with sharp tool blades is a MUST in the workshop. Not only is is safer, it is much easier on the woodworker who not only doesn't have to work so hard, but it also makes woodworking much more fun. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to plane a board, or carve out a mortise when you have a dull tool. Sometimes we think our tool or blade is sharp but really it isn't. When you take a blade that you thought was sharp, then really sharpen it, you will not believe the difference in how easy it cuts and how much less work it is. For years I struggled with what I thought were plane blades that were - sharp enough - . I knew they weren't the sharpest, but I never bothered to take the time to sharpen them properly and always assumed that they were ok.
One day, while visiting another woodworker, who had just sharpened his plane blade, I asked him if I could try it out. I was completely astounded what a difference a really sharp blade was like. It wasn't long after I encountered a more mature woodworker, who I knew was an expert in sharpening, and asked him if he would sharpen my blades for me ... and I would pay him. A week later he called to have me come and pick up the blades and while I was at his shop, I asked if he would give be a lesson in how I could get good results, with the least fuss, and this is what this video is about.
What he showed me is the same thing I am going to show here, what I think is one of the easiest and cost effective ways of sharpening chisel and plane blades and similar blades. This is the best way that works for me, but other people will have many other ways that are also just as good and maybe even easier and I am confident they will all be sharing their expertise with us. There are MANY MANY different ways to sharpen chisels and plane blades, and some people make a real art out of sharpening. It becomes - their thing - in woodworking, and so this article details what I learned that afternoon. The first thing you need to do is ...
When you need material taken off ... in a hurry, nothing works like a belt sander. They can be rough and often hard to control but do a great job of taking the rough spots off so you can start getting down to the finer work.
Portable belt sanders have been around for many years and come in a variety of sizes. Some of the smaller ones look deceivingly like you can operate them with one hand, and maybe some of you can, but even these smaller units pack a lot of power so using 2 hands is far safer and much more accurate.
Many of the portable belt sanders have attachment or receiving nuts embedded in the top of the unit. Often one in the front and rear of the machine. The purpose of these receiving nuts is that these belt sanders can be adapted to many different uses. The first time I ever saw someone using this feature was at a shipyard. Some poor sole had the dubious job of scraping and sanding a hull of what looked like about a 40 foot boat which had recently come out of the ocean and was nicely encrusted with lots of, now, dried on marine life. He had innovated a belt sander to long wooden board and was using it run the belt sander up and down the underside of the hull. It was tough work, but he seemed to handling it.
Some years later when I happened upon a used belt sander at a swap meet or garage sale somewhere, I noticed it too hand these receiving bolts on the top. This meant that when I got home I could actually mount the belt sander on it's side and use it as a stationary sander ... and did it work great ...
There are lots of places where you can buy doors, but there are NOT lots of places where you can buy custom designed and custom built doors. It takes a special person who not only has an artistic flare, but also vision for what a finished door or other wood project should look like and then ... have the skills, the determination and the patience to bring it all together. This is what I call a true woodworking artist and such is Arnim Rodeck. When you first meet Arnim you wonder how on earth, someone of his small stature can maneuver such larger timbers on that massive work table he builds these large doors, fireplace mantels and other projects on. Many of the doors he builds occupy 12 foot wide spaces and of course are 7 or 8 feet tall, and some even taller.
If you have ever had the pleasure of making a door, you will understand how important it is that all the parts fit together precisely. Then, remember that in many cases these doors are shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles away and often need to be installed by local finishing carpenters, so all this needs to be taken into account.
There is nothing more outstanding than when you approach a house and the door you are going to enter the house through, literally takes your breath away. It is very majestic to have a front entrance door that not only reflects the environment the house has been built in, but also the unique tastes of the owner. That is the kind of art that Arnim creates. If the house is built in the mountains, those mountains with their wildlife will be reflected in the door, if the house is on lake, river or ocean, then those features will be artistically used to create the door.
All that is on the artistic side, but if you are a woodworker, you are even more impressed with the joinery and the detail of how the door is made. How the 12 foot curved pieces are all finely laminated and glued together so that they look like one solid arched beam. The custom weather stripping slots that are built into a custom insulated doors that he has designed, that help to make the door solid, environmentally friendly and able to last at least as long as the house itself while maintaining the strength and wear and tear that all doors need to be able to withstand.
There is something rewarding about taking rough lumber and turning it into fine furniture, especially if it is a design you love to make. Such is the case with this little side table, in the Arts and Crafts (A&C) style of furniture. I thought about all the furniture that I love to make and discovered that there are a number of types and styles, starting with the A&C style of furniture. I am a big fan of William Morris, designer of course of the Morris Chair, Gustav Stickely, Harvey Ellis, Greene and Greene and others, but I am also a big fan of Thomas Molesworth who made a very unique type of furniture in the mid-west. All of these people contributed greatly to styles and types of furniture we have today, and they influenced generations of woodworkers.
This little side table is a simple design, and like most woodworkers, I have adapted some of my own wrinkles to, by combining, in a way, the styles of Havery Ellis and Thomas Molesworth. The carcass of the table is recognisable as a typical A&C table, but the top boasts a natural edge rather than a sawn, planed and finished edge. I also like the height and size of the table, all of which was designed using a Fibonacci Gauge in order to get pleasing lines and dimensions.
But there is a lot more than simply building a piece of furniture. It needs to be finished AND with this piece ti has a natural edge top, so what do we do for edge treatment for the top ... click below to see the following videos ...