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derekcohen last won the day on July 28

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About derekcohen

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    Journeyman Poster

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    Perth, Australia
  • Woodworking Interests
    Building furniture predominantly with handtools

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  1. Search for “cork rubber”. BenchCrafted call this “crubber”. Better than leather. Link: Regards from Perth Derek
  2. Many thanks to all of you for your very kind words and support. In competitions there will always be winners and losers. And opinions about the decisions. As to the furniture piece that was awarded first place, the maker is a very good woodworker, and he wins every year (except for 2017, when I won). He works exclusively with veneer on chipboard or MDF. His veneer work is stupendous. We are good mates and I tease him that it is kitchen ware. We have an agreement that I will teach him dovetailing, and he will teach me veneering. My wife argues that there should be one category for veneer work and another for solid wood. The competition rules state that they aim to reward design and craftsmanship, and to do so regardless of whether power or handwork is used. History tends to indicate that veneer is king. My view - which I have to avoid sounding like sour grapes - is that veneer used extensively can hide a multitude of sins and is not fine woodworking. It is just fine veneering. In my world, craftsmanship is about joinery and proportions and choice of materials. On another forum, one commented the following (which I really appreciated): "When Frank Lloyd Wright was working on the the Guggenheim Museum, New York State kicked up its dancing shoes with "Sir, you must be licensed in New York if you wish to be involved." Wright replied, "Okay, I'll take your test, but who's going to grade my responses?" Rather than become frustrated, I have made it my mission at my club to educate members about joinery and hand tools. I use machines as well, but I see how their over use can limit expression. Wide veneered panels look sterile. Machine joinery is not the enemy, but it can discourage flights of design fancy. A few weeks ago I gave a talk on the bow-fronted apothecary chest I built for the 2018 Wood Show (and which did not get a place). I think that it has only now dawned on members just how complex the joinery was. Many do not think about these aspects, or that many of the technical challenges of design were met by woodworkers over 200 years ago. On to next year! Regards from Perth Derek
  3. This was the winning piece ... My piece ... Regards from Perth Derek
  4. Thanks John. I came in second. Regards from Perth Derek
  5. Tom, I did consider building the rods through the vise. However I realised that the combination with the cast iron wheels is very heavy, and it would be more work to turn. What I did, instead, was to capture the rod at the rear, and I can extend it or shorten it, as needed. I have about 3" sticking out the front at the moment. It is all I need. I may even shorten it some more. Regards from Perth Derek
  6. I posted this over at the Advanced forum: Regards from Perth Derek
  7. Many of my projects involve bow fronts, which result in compound angle dovetails ... I do enjoy building furniture with dovetailing challenges. Between furniture pieces, I find time to build a new tool. This time it is the Moxon dovetail vise I have been promising myself for a while. My first and only one was built in early 2011, after Chris Schwarz helped put it on the map. I immediately modified this design, and have been making modifications since. (Link: This new Moxon incorporates the best ideas. Ironically, this design is not geared for compound angles. I decided to heed my own advice and keep it as simple as possible, and cater for the 90% of the dovetailing that is likely to be done. The width of the vise is narrower than my previous one, but capable of 450mm (17 3/4")between the screws. Most cases I built are between 350 - 450mm deep. My previous Moxon could do 560mm (22") between the screws. This is unnecessary, and just makes for a very large fixture. Where the old Moxon used wooden screws, which I turned, this uses steel Acme screws and iron wheels ala BenchCrafted ... except that these came via Tom Bussey (thanks Tom), which amounted to a large savings. The wheels are 5" in diameter on a 3/4" screw. The front chop is 5 1/2" high, and the Moxon is built in Jarrah ... what else do you expect! I went a little OTT in this build, but it was fun, and I admit I did become a little carried away Brass inlay ... The chop runs on bronze bearings ... Lining the inside of the vise is rubberised cork. This makes a great non-slip (not my idea - this comes from BenchCrafted, who call it "crubber". Simply search eBay for "cork rubber"). This vise is a good height for sawing ... There are a few innovations. The rear of the vise ... This is a spacer, and it can be locked into the up position ... The spacer has two functions. The first is setting the pin board (10mm) above the chop to prevent scoring the chop when transferring tails to pins with a knife (this is more of a danger with through dovetails). Also, by lifting the work, there will be light behind the pin board, and this makes it easier to align the edges. The crubber makes a great non-slip. The spacer may be dropped out of the way, once the height is set ... The second use of the spacer is that it has a sliding dovetail at the top, and this allows for the use of MicroJig clamps. This would be especially useful for holding wide boards, or tail board which have developed a slight bow ... I have used this on other fixtures, such as a morticing jig. For aligning the tail- and pin boards, I prefer a simple wide square I made from wood ... The spacer needs to be dropped out of the way for this ... Once transfer is made, reverse the board and saw the pins. This is where you will recognise that the cove is not simply decoration, but allows the saw to angle and get closer to the work piece. The lower the work piece in the vise, the less vibration when sawing ... And thats it ... the last moxon dovetail vise ... Regards from Perth Derek
  8. Jim, good work on the HF chisels. I was inspired to do this about 10 years ago when I recognised that the Blue Spruce chisels were made this way. I have had a BS set for about 15 years, for paring dovetails, and they were among a very few who produced chisels with minimal lands. The chisels I chose to grind were vintage Stanley #750s (purchased individually over some years, mostly without handles). Unlike the LN chisels they were modelled after, the Stanleys had rather chunky sides, and were useless for dovetailing. I also was not a fan of the stubby Stanley 750 handles, and wanted something longer. This is what the Stanley now look like. Incidentally, the 1/8" chisel started out as a 1/4", as did the 3/16" chisel - these are two sizes I use a lot with dovetails. I did write an article on a jig I made to do this: Later, I simply managed it freehand. The smaller chisel sizes are a little tricky Regards from Perth Derek
  9. In July, I posted a router-based method I used to remove the waste from hand cut hand-blind sockets (link). This involved orientating the boards vertically and routing into the end grain. This necessitated a rather clumsy piece of work-holding - which, as I explained at the time, was difficult to avoid as the end grain was not square to the sides, as is usual with drawer front. The bow fronted drawers created ends which were angled.With the usual square drawer fronts, both Bill and Roger on the forum preferred to place their boards flat on the bench and rest the router on the edge. Roger's photos ...However, this method leaves is too much waste remaining at the sides of the socket - as this is angled and the router bit is vertical - which means that there is more work needed to clear ...Bill's objection - that holding the work piece vertically looked too clumsy for easy work - continued to ring in my head. The horizontal method certainly had the advantage of being more stable. So, now that my then-current project, the Harlequin Table, is complete, between pieces I take some time to solve these problems. Which I have, and hopefully in a way that others will find helpful.Just as an aside, my preference is hand tool work, and generally if the wood is willing this is my go-to. The method here is not to replace all hand work, but to make the process easier in particular circumstances. Some of the timbers I work, especially for cases and drawer fronts, are extremely hard, and it is not viable to chop them out, particularly when there are several to do. It is not simply that this is time consuming - after all, this is just my hobby - but that it is hard on the chisels. I use machines to compliment hand tools. There is a time and place for everything.Let's take it from the beginning:Step 1: saw the pins ...Step 2: deepen the kerfs with (in my case) a kerfing chisel (see my website for more info) ...Now we come to the new jig. I must tell you that this did my head in for a long time. As with everything, there is a simple solution, and in the end it could not have been simpler!The need is (1) quick and easy set up, (2) accurate routing leaving minimal waste, and (3) visibility and dust control (bloody machines!).The jigThis turned out to be nothing more than a block of wood. This one is 16"/440mm long x 4"/100mm high and 2"/50mm wide.I used MicroJig clamps, which slide along a sliding dovetail. This is not necessary; one can just use a couple of F-clamps. However the MicroJig clamps not only make work holding less finicky, but they extend the length of the board one can hold with this particular jig to 500mm. That is easily enough for most case widths.To use, place face down on a flat surface and clamp the drawer front close to centre ...Up end the combination, and place the end of the drawer front into your vise. This could be a face vise or, as here, a Moxon vise. Note that the image is taken from the rear of the vise ...This is what you will see when standing in front of the jig/vise ...Let's talk about the router.This is a Makita RT0700C trim router. Fantastic little router: 1 hp, variable speed, soft start. Together with a Mirka 27mm antistatic dust hose, the dust collection is amazing! The photo shown is after use, and there is no dust to be found (I very much doubt that a small plunge router could remain this clean). That also means that visibility is good, even though it does not have a built-in light. There are other excellent trim routers around for much the same price. This is the one I use.The baseThe base is the other half of the jig. This made from 6mm perspex. This is not the strongest, but does the job. I plan to build another out of polycarbonite (Lexan), which is much tougher.There is just the single handle as the left hand will grip the dust outlet.Below is the rear of the base. Note the adjustable fence/depth stop ...This is the underside ...Plans for anyone looking to make their own ...Setting upStep 1: set the depth of cut - I scribed marks on the fence for two drawer side thickness I use. Mostly I use 6mm (or 1/4"). The other is 10mm, which is used here. I shall make another, deeper fence, so that I can add a few other thicknesses, such as 19mm for case sides.Step 2: set the cut to the boundary line - this is done as close as possible. In the end I want to leave about 1mm to clear with a chisel (this is such an important line that I am not willing to take a risk here). If you move the bit side-to-side, the scratch pattern will show where it is cutting ...The resultThe router bit is 5/32" carbide. It is very controllable, and this makes it possible to freehand close to the side kerfs. The fence/depth stop prevents over-cutting the boundary line. In 15 seconds, this is the result ...Turn the board around to chisel out the waste ..Order of waste removalFirst lever away the sides. The waste here is paper thin and breaks away ...Secondly, place a wide chisel in the scribed boundary line, and chop straight down ...Finally, use a fishtail chisel into the corners to remove this ...A note: removing the waste this cleanly and easily was facilitated by using the kerfing chisel to ensure that there was a release cut at the sides of the socket.Regards from PerthDerek
  10. FINAL PICTURES We are done building the side table. Here are pictures (taken with my iPhone6). The case is Hard Maple from the USA. The drawer fronts are Black Walnut, figured Hard Maple, and pink Jarrah (hence the name, Harlequin). The drawer sides are quartersawn Tasmanian Oak, and the drawer bottoms/slips were made from Tasmanian Blue Gum. Finish was, initially, two coats of dewaxed UBeaut Hard White Shellac (the very faint amber adds a little warmth), followed by three coats of General Finishes water-based poly (this remains clear - does not yellow the maple - and appears to have some UV protection. It is hard wearing, which is necessary for a side table). The build features mitred, rounded dovetails and bow front and back. Eight drawers featuring compound dovetailing to match the bow front. Drawers are traditional half-blind dovetails at the front and through dovetails at the rear, with drawer bottoms into slips. About 2 months to build, mainly on weekends. Here is the rear of the table (which will be seen through the windows, which run floor-to-ceiling along the family room ... The pulls were shaped from what-I-believe-to-be-some-type-of Ebony ... The obligatory dovetails ... Do you think that anyone will notice that the drawer bottoms run sequentially? And this one is for Bill, who was concerned that the chamfers at the end of the drawers (to ease entry into the case) might impair their extension ... A last look ... Thursday morning I haul the table to the Perth Wood Show for the annual furniture competition. Wish me luck. Regards from Perth Derek
  11. Coop, I assume that you are wondering why the slips and not a groove in the drawer sides? The reason is that the drawer sides are 1/4" thick. Not only would a groove weaken the construction, but the bearing surface is small, and wear is increased. Besides, don't the slips look better? Regards from Perth Derek
  12. I am in the process of completing the Harlequin Table. I will post the finished piece in a couple of days. Here are a few pictures of making the drawer bottoms for the slips, which may interest a few. Bill was not enamoured with the slips as they has this ruddy great groove down one side. That was a too-wide quirk from the beading blade. Not to worry Bill, I cut that section away, leaving just the bead. Here are the slips being glued in ... The drawer slips and bottoms are Tasmanian Blue Gum. The drawer sides are Tasmanian Oak. Both are 1/4" thick. The groove in the slip is 1/8" (3mm). The slip requires a matching 1/8" rebate. This was planed with a skew rebate plane on a sticking board ... Although the plane has a nicker, I always scribe the line as well ... It is worth the effort to set up the rebate plane for a precise cut ... Once the one side is done, slide the tongue into the groove of the slip, and mark off the width of the drawer bottom ... Then saw to width ... Any fine tuning is done with a shoulder plane ... The drawer fronts are all curved, and the drawer bottom must be scribed to match this ... Here is the fit behind the front of the drawer, and the match with the beaded slips ... The rear of the drawer, with the added bearing surface from the slips ... The profile of the drawer sides ... Until the final pics ... Regards from Perth Derek
  13. Realise that Japanese chisels need to be sharpened freehand. If you are not up to this, then begin with less advanced chisel designs. This set, and expensive chisels like this, are not for a beginner. I am sorry if this is going to come across as condescending. Get yourself something useable - read much cheaper - and learn on them. You will thank us later. This is not a time to purchase the best you can afford so that you "buy once". It does not work that way. I am not saying buy rubbish. I am saying get something modest to learn on. Narex chisels are superb for those starting out. You may even decide not to purchase others. Regards from Perth Derek
  14. I was planning to next post with the completed Harlequin Side table, however it has been two steps forward and one back. Selecting the drawer fronts .. well, I've cut and recut them a few times, and only now satisfied with the result. It is no small deal each time since a drawer front has to be fitted into a recess that is shaped like a parallelogram. And if the fit is not good enough ... well, a few would-be drawer fronts were discarded. What parts are needed? Well, the drawer sides are 1/4" thick - too thin for grooves, so there will be slips to support the drawer bottom. The drawer sides are Tasmanian Oak, which I use frequently, as it is a light wood that allows the drawer fronts to be shown to their best, and it is available quarter sawn. The drawer back will also be Tassie Oak. The drawer bottoms are solid wood and 1/4" thick. Rather than use Tasmanian Oak, I thought I would add a little life with Tasmanian Blue Gum. It is quite similar is texture and tone (although the photos here do not show this), but has more figure. Enough here for 8 drawers ... Drawer sides and drawer fronts ... Great sander ... Mirka Ceros ... These will be the drawer bottoms. The board in the centre is the Hard Maple case back ... Do you think anyone will notice that the drawer bottoms run sequentially? The making of the drawer slips may have some interest. I used Tasmanian Blue Gum (because it links to the drawer bottoms). This is quite interlocked and any planing with a plough to form either grooves or beads would be expected to end unhappily, with much tearout. I have posted this tip before: add a 15 degree backbevel to all plough blades to create a high 60 degree cutting angle. The 3/16" beads were ploughed with the Veritas Combination Plane ... Brilliant finish ... ... and a 1/8" groove for the rebate in the drawer bottom was ploughed by the Veritas Small Plow ... Again, tearout free ... This is a mock up of the intersection of the drawer front (back), drawer side into drawer slip and against a drawer side ... Note that the drawer front is straight/flat at this stage but, once dovetailed, they will be shaped to curve along the bow front of the case. These are the timbers I have chosen for the drawer fronts. This is what gives the side table the harlequin name. Three timbers: Black Walnut, a pink Jarrah, and figured Hard Maple. Keep in mind that there is no finish at this stage ... Next time hopefully with everything completed. Regards from Perth Derek
  15. It is called a Fritz and Franz jig. Look on Youtube. Regards from Perth Derek