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Suppose you you were in possession of, as I am, four Cherry logs ranging in size from 18″ to 24″ diameter by 12′ to 16′ in length and you need to instruct the sawmill how they are to be cut. Also suppose that you are a novice woodworker who intends to use the resulting lumber in undetermined woodworking projects. How would you instruct the mill to cut up the logs?
Wow, what a great problem to have Boris! If you can send some photos I’ll look at them. But unseen, I’d ask them to try to get some quartersawn boards out, and also some full width flatsawn boards. It just depends on how much wood you’ll get if you quartersaw it. It also depends on what you think you’ll build down the road. Some furniture pieces don’t need to be quite as stable as others. Good luck! 

One subject that a woodworker must always consider when building a project is how seasonal moisture and temperature fluctuations will cause expansion and contraction of the wood stock in the assembled project. For instance, if you've ever experienced a drawer that sticks only in the winter time, you've experienced seasonal movement of wood. Since each wood species is affected by these temperature and moisture fluctuations, you'll need to know a bit about the climate where the project will be used, and how your chosen wood stock is affected by the climate changes. Again, your local woodworking supplier can be a great resource for answering these types of questions in your area.
The Amish here in Ohio use a nifty wooden rule for calculating bd. ft. It has a brass football shaped hook on the end and they’re about 2′ long. Three columns of numbers run down the length of stick. These columns are the length of stock say, 12,14,16 foot. Within these columns, bd. ft. has already been calculated and marked. For a 16′ bd. the hook is placed over one edge and a reading of bd. ft. is taken from opposite edge from the 16′ column. “Audels Carpenters and Builders Guide #1” pg. 146, shows a good example. They call… Read more »
About forty years ago I purchased a Shopsmith Mark V because I lacked space for a large shop, and also moved around the United States a lot. Later I purchased another Shopsmith Mark V Model 510 for the increase in table size and flexibility. I do wood working as a hobby, not to do many projects as fast as possible. I also have every tool and accessory that Shopsmith makes for the two primary tools. Their quality is excellent, and while I enjoy antique tools like the 1912 three phase electric Camel Back Drill Press I purchased for my son’s shop, the Shopsmith does every thing I have ever needed.
If you have some experience working with steel and welding pieces together you’ll find this project a piece of cake. These coffee table plans come from instructables. The base has to be welded and that takes a bit of skill and time and then the top is added. The combination of wood and steel is a pretty harmonious ones. The warmth of the wood combined with the rugged-industrial look of the steel result in a beautiful and well-balanced structure.
This is a vintage woodworking plan. Visit our FAQ page for a full definition. View the Larger Image Slideshow to see the actual item you are buying. A fine new design just added to our Colonial group is the Wagon Seat Coffee table, patterned in full-size. You will admire its beautiful lines and appreciate its sturdy construction. The well shaped, open gallery and four shelf pegs add to its appearance. Its two drawers are handy for small storage, and the shelves are useful for holding a few magazines or books. Build it of pine or hardwood and finish it with a stain and lacquer of high quality. Then wax it and rub it, and you will have a piece of furniture that will mellow as it improves with time.
2 small Japanese pull saws, a western push saw, fret saw, set of chisels, bit brace with a roll of arbor bits, rabbet plane, side rabbet (trim) plane, 2 shoulder planes, 3 set of diamond stones, slip stone, multiple files, a rasp or two, 2 small bar clamps, a mini vise, hand scrapers, scratch beader with cutters, combination plane with cutters, smoothing plane, jack plane, block plane, combination square, steel straight rule, 12′ tape measure, small bottle of glue, a few short dowels, 2 marking gauges, and a few different marking instruments (awl, pencils, marking knife).
Browse our large selection of new and used industrial machinery for woodworking, plastics, metal, and composites. Choose a machine type below to see how Hermance can assist you in your specific machine woodworking application with our extension offering of CNC routers, edgebanders, dust collectors, moulders, vertical panel saws, and more. Learn how Hermance has become the experts in plastic, composite and metal machine woodworking!
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Just for the record, a jointer and planer are not from the ICDT kit – the philosophy on that column is, indeed, beginner AND basic (hence the Workmate). The tools we suggest in the ICDT manual are for those who are working at a kitchen table or in a backyard; the tools the editors would recommend for someone who is quite sure he or she wants to pursue serious furniture making would be rather different.
Coffee tables are more of a North American furniture piece, you typically will not find these in England, for which this coffee table is designed after. With a country-style look and rugged appearance of an old workbench, the tapered legs and deep v-grooves on the top with breadboard ends given the appearance of strength and durability. View the Larger Image Slideshow to see the actual paper plan you are buying.
We cut the decorative diagonal pieces to fit on this part. Mark each board with your pencil and cut them to fit exact. You can check out the video if you have questions about this part! We walk you through it. Cut the diagonal pieces to fit first, then mark and attach them to each other using wood glue and nails. Then, fit them in the box and attach them with wood glue and nails through the box and into each end of the X piece.
Using wood glue and 1 1/4" pocket hole screws, attach the frame you just built (19" x 11") to the 4x4 frame posts. You will use the pocket holes you drilled in the 19" boards. The frame will sit on the edge of the grooves, not inside. See plans for details. The frame should sit flush with the tops of your 4x4's. This will make the bottom 4" off the ground.
An assortment of chisels should be part of every workbench. Chisels are not just for wood carvers. Any woodworker will need chisels to clean out joints and saw cuts. Look for chisels made of high-alloy carbon steel or chromium-vanadium alloyed steel. Hardwood grips are best, especially if they have metal caps on them. This will keep the end of the handle from becoming malformed when you hammer on it.
Like with most live-edge tables, the hardest part of this project shared on instructables is finding the right slab of wood. It has to have a suitable shape and size for a coffee table top and to look interesting. Cracks, knots and other imperfections help to give it character. Once you have the slab, clean it and apply a protective finish, after which install the legs.
Carpenters are skilled craftspersons who create structures and consumer goods from common materials, like wood and concrete. Enrolling in carpentry courses at a trade school or community college is one way to gain the knowledge and techniques needed for a career as a carpenter. Skills learned in carpentry courses may include safety awareness, building layout design and blueprint reading. Continue reading for more information about carpentry courses. Schools offering Carpentry degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
You might not see these tables very often but they were relied on by sheep farmers for many years. Anything that could make the job of shearing sheep easier was welcomed on the farm. You could even change up the plan a little bit by making the legs longer and adding steel (or wooden) wheels to make a merchants cart. That latter idea is something we are suggesting, its not a part of this plan. Joinery methods used primarily in the construction of this sturdy table include mortise and tenon and tongue and groove. View the Larger Image Slideshow to see the actual paper plan you are buying.

“Basic,” on the other hand, is a word that allows for growth – and that’s exactly what you want in your woodworking tool kit. You want to be able to take the same kit with you through many years in the craft. With my basic woodworking tools list, I wanted to provide a core set of tools that will serve you well from project to project. I’m especially concerned these days with the transition to hardwood furniture making, as opposed to plywood boxes of various sizes. That’s the transition I’m making right now in my own work!
The sequence in which boards are cut from a log will determine how stable the boards will be once they dry. As a board loses moisture it will shrink in three dimensions. The change in length is so small as to be considered insignificant and the change in radial movement is always less than the tangential movement. This is most significant as the wood dries between the time it's cut (i.e. green wood), and the point where it is kiln dried or air dried and ready for use. Wood that shrinks excessively, or that has been dried improperly, will often develop checks at the ends. When shopping for lumber, carefully inspect the ends for any checking, or for excessively long checks. It is best to allow for some scrap at the end of each board, just in case. As you trim the end, hit the off-cut across the edge of your bench, and if it breaks in two, you'll have to cut off a little more.
Second, I have another call for entries – I have, for some time, wanted to make a “Woodworker’s Vacation Map,” one that would list and plot a wide array of interesting places and sights across the world. Whenever I travel, I ask a few woodworking friends from the area I’m traveling to what I should see. This has exposed me to a wide range of beautiful experiences, often tucked away and lacking signage.

To best engage with designers and architects, Northwest Hardwoods has expanded its social media reach to include Instagram and Pinterest. Both channels are visually based and aspirational, which will allow Northwest Hardwoods to showcase not only its many types of wood grades and species, but also the beautiful and varied applications for these woods – from cabinets to decking to furniture.


It's generally more difficult to find long boards. Stock under four or five feet long can often be cut from longer boards, but as the parts become longer, the rough stock will have to be either very clear and straight, or have extra thickness to allow you to remove any bow along its length. In making parts for the room divider (featured in this issue), four stiles had to be set aside: three because they kept bowing no matter how often they were jointed flat, and one because it was under the minimum thickness by the time it was flat.
Your moisture meter should have settings on it that will account for different species of wood. For instance, oak is a hardwood, but ebony is an even harder density wood. If you are planning an inlay job using both types of wood, you will need to know the moisture content levels of each of the two species so that your inlay glue joints will stay intact. These different wood species have different specific gravities, which must be used or programmed into the moisture meter.
Birch comes in two varieties: yellow and white. Yellow birch is a pale yellow-to-white wood with reddish-brown heartwood, whereas white birch has a whiter color that resembles maple. Both types of birch have a hardness of 4 on a scale of 1 to 5. Birch is readily available and less expensive than many other hardwoods. You can find birch at many home centers, although the selection is better at a lumberyard.

You might be able to enroll in a General Contractor's License Preparation Certificate, a Carpentry Diploma or a Career Diploma in Carpentry program, among other options. Programs might require a high school diploma or its equivalent and a placement test. The programs may prepare you for entry-level positions in industry, engineering and the construction trades. The following topics might be covered in a carpentry or contracting program:
My $0.02 worth. I agree with the thickness planer [mine is 10″] but anything over a 6″ jointer is expensive and space-consuming, so use hand planes as in your later blog. I inherited an 8″ table saw that my dad and I used to build a 12′ outboard boat back in 1955. I’ve used it for ripping, but I’m having second thoughts because of safety issues. Some have suggested a band saw for ripping, which is quieter and safer to use. I gave my router away [and hope to get rid of my Freud biscuit joiner and 6″ jointer]. A quality eggbeater drill works every bit [pun not intended] as well as a power drill, and they cost less. A coping saw and a jewelers saw negate the need for a jigsaw unless you are into making puzzles. Chris Schwarz has a video short on one of the Highland Woodworker series showing how to joint the edge of a board with a plane and a simple jig on the workbench surface. Another reason to bypass the jointer.
A Guide to Honing and Sharpening helps woodworkers keep their tools in the best possible working condition. It focuses on the history of honing and sharpening and vital aspects of these practices, such as stropping, beveling, chiseling, flattening and other modern technological methods. Students can explore these methods via text, pictures and diagrams.
Like you, I too am benchless. I built the “Mozilla” Molson vice variant from last year’s issue (I forget which) and it comes in handy for a lot of operations. I clamp it down to a piece of plywood that I have covered with formica (actually, it’s two pieces that I have piano-hinged together for easier storage) laid across two sawhorses. As long as lateral thrust is not involved, this is a pretty stable way to work. I also have a Zyliss vise for working on smaller pieces. I’ve made do for nearly forty years with a radial arm saw and circular saw. I have only recently acquired a planer and router table (both on wheels) It makes the garage croweded because also sharing the space are two motorcycles and about 400 board feet of rough sawn Camphor. I currently attend classes in woodworking and this coming semester I’ll be enrolled in a class for handtools only (and sharpening).
The course begins with a quick overview of the history of carpentry, from primitive to modern times. It then teaches you about the most important building materials, fasteners, adhesives, and tools used by carpenters in the modern construction industry. You will then receive an essential outline of safety guidelines and procedures. The course then goes through the crucial steps carpenters must take during construction projects. Here, you will be introduced to the best methods for constructing floor systems, walls, and roof framing, as well as how to make and read plans and elevations. The final section of the course shows you how to close off a structure, including installing windows, exterior doors, and stairs.

Somehow I overlook #1, the jointer and thickness planer, and I saw all the other tools and immediately thought that this was my first set of tools I bought when I started working as a carpenter on a friend’s crew. Then I saw my oversight and just couldn’t get over how incongrous those two items were to the rest of the list. Had I seen a scrub plane and a jack plane I would have more harmony in the list. 

Poplar is one of the less expensive hardwoods. It’s also fairly soft (1 in hardness on a scale of 1 to 5), which makes it easy to work with. Poplar is white with some green or brown streaks in the heartwood. Because poplar is not the most beautiful wood, it’s rarely used in fine furniture, and if it is, it’s almost always painted. Poplar can be a good choice for drawers (where it won’t be seen) because it is stable and inexpensive. You can find poplar at larger home centers, but a lumberyard will have a better selection.
While flipping through the boards, keep an eye open for signs that a number of boards may have come from the same tree. Looking at the ends and the growth rings will tell you where in the log the board was sawn. In some cases, knots may go through more than one board, and often the outer boards have a live edge. By comparing these features, the colouring, grain and other distinguishing marks, it is often possible to identify several boards cut from the same log.
Wow, what a great problem to have Boris! If you can send some photos I’ll look at them. But unseen, I’d ask them to try to get some quartersawn boards out, and also some full width flatsawn boards. It just depends on how much wood you’ll get if you quartersaw it. It also depends on what you think you’ll build down the road. Some furniture pieces don’t need to be quite as stable as others. Good luck!
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