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The Woodworking Thread

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The Woodworking Thread

Postby eliya on Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:07 am

I'm thinking this should be like the tech questions thread, but aimed at woodworking and not limited just to technical questions per se.

I'll start:
-How to identify wood? I know it's possible to tell by looking at the grain, but I have no idea what to look for.

-How to make different joints.

-Joint strengths. I know that a dovetail is stronger than a butt joint, but how much stronger? How much weight can each joint takes before falling apart? I'm not afraid of formulas, so I'll be happy to see some of those.

I'd love some reliable sources I could learn about these things from. Could be online, in print, whatever.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby djimbe on Tue Oct 21, 2014 6:55 am

start here, maybe: http://www.finewoodworking.com/

the magazine is great and I'll nver get rid of the copies I have since they can really come in handy at times. Taunton Press also has a bunch of different books related to very specific topics that are fantastic resources. One on joinery, one on glues, one on sharpening...you get the idea. I haven't spent any time on that website, but I'm sure you can at least get some good leads there.

Another good thing to do would be to hit up your nearest hardwood lumber yard. Great place to look at different species of woods and see what is available, both in kind and also size. Owl Hardwood Lumber in the western suburbs of Chicago (for example) is always worth a trip and you could easily waste 2 hours there on a rainy afternoon.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby twelvepoint on Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:06 am

Good thread. I'll be sure to post some current projects I'm working on.

One thing I'd highly recommend is checking out the lumberjocks site. Their forums are a great, amazing source of info, and the culture is super helpful, especially with newbies who ask the same questions over and over again.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby twelvepoint on Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:12 am

*** MOVED HERE FROM THE DIY THREAD ***
We inherited a laminated maple countertop from my wife's aunt. After a few months on sawhorses, I started making a frame. I'm using poplar, rather than maple, mainly because I'm cheap, but also because it's a little easier to work.

Image

Image

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I did all the tenons on a table saw, and cleaned up with a chisel. I was reasonably happy with the accuracy. This was the first time doing tenons on the TS; usually I use a router, but these pieces are bigger than normal.

For the mortising, I used this thing called a Beadlock system. If you use the bead-shaped tenons, you can just mortise both pieces, stick the "floating tenon" in, and glue it up. But the other thing with this jig, is you can rough out the mortise with a drill, then replace the drill bit guide insert with a rectangular insert that helps you chisel the bead-shape mortise into a traditional rectangle shape:

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So far, this has been a great way to do traditional mortise and tenon joinery. For me, having a jig is a lot faster and more accurate than trying to chisel out a mortise completely by hand.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby elisha wiesner on Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:20 am

I really enjoy building furniture but don't do it all that much. Occasionally I get commissioned to build a piece but mostly I do fairly boring carpentry and the furniture I find time to make is for our house or as gifts.

My wife has a very small office at work and wanted a custom desk to fit and I made her this one last spring. I was quite happy with how it turned out. Mahogany, Walnut and Cypress.

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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby garthplinko on Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:55 am

Jeeze this stuff is making all my builds look like brute hackery: biscuit joins, etc.

I need a better clean room for finishing too. I can't keep dust out of my finishes.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby twelvepoint on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:01 am

elisha wiesner wrote:I really enjoy building furniture but don't do it all that much. Occasionally I get commissioned to build a piece but mostly I do fairly boring carpentry and the furniture I find time to make is for our house or as gifts.

My wife has a very small office at work and wanted a custom desk to fit and I made her this one last spring. I was quite happy with how it turned out. Mahogany, Walnut and Cypress.

Image


I really like the contrasting dowels through the tenons. Thinking about doing that with my workbench frame. There again, I'm also thinking about just getting it done ASAP so I can have a bench to use.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby elisha wiesner on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:10 am

Thanks, it's a look I really like. Here's a corner of our bed with the same feature.

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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby steve on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:45 am

Were those lock dowels (pins) or did you draw-bore the tenons and use the dowels to tighten the joints? I'm thinking about using lock dowels on the workbench I'm making now, they look pretty smart.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby twelvepoint on Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:53 am

Bed bolts can look nice, too, when done right. And they have the advantage of being easy to snug up, if needed, and will make your piece easy to disassemble. You could also recess the bolt heads and make some sweet EA-branded covers for them, if you really want to go the extra mile.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby elisha wiesner on Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:01 pm

Draw-Bore tenons with dowels.

I've seen the lock dowel pins and they look really cool but I haven't used them. If you use them, let me know what you think.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby W.L.Weller on Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:06 pm

eliya wrote:-Joint strengths. I know that a dovetail is stronger than a butt joint, but how much stronger? How much weight can each joint takes before falling apart?


http://woodgears.ca/joint_strength/index.html

This dude has posted some results you may be interested in. I also like reading his stuff because he seems to have internalized "the perfect is the enemy of the good" a long, long time ago.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby Nico Adie on Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:48 am

This is a great idea for a thread, thanks for making it.

In terms of bigger projects, I built my bed entirely by hand, chiselled out the mortises and all, which was a pain to do without a proper workbench but I got there in the end. I can't wait to have a place where I can build a proper workbench, almost certainly one based on Paul Sellers design.

His YouTube channel is great for no-bullshit sensible advice and instruction.
Last edited by Nico Adie on Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby Nico Adie on Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:50 am

steve wrote:Were those lock dowels (pins) or did you draw-bore the tenons and use the dowels to tighten the joints? I'm thinking about using lock dowels on the workbench I'm making now, they look pretty smart.


What style of workbench are you making? How many vices? Type of vices?
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby steve on Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:03 am

It's a Sellers-style workbench with laminated 2x4s for the top sections, front and back aprons, a leg vise and end vise (Lee Valley). The whole thing is made out of scrap lumber left at the completion of my house remodeling. It's short, only 5' long because I have a pretty small space for it to sit.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby twelvepoint on Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:12 am

Got the base of my bench all glued up. I'm thinking about putting threaded levelers on the legs because my basement is very uneven, but I think wood shims may actually be more solid. I also need to fit the top onto the base, and am probably going to use a few pins that the top will locate on. I don't need the top fastened to the base.

Then I'll need to mount a vise.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby steve on Thu Oct 23, 2014 4:30 am

Threaded levelers are bad because you'll be banging on it and you'll bust them. You could make something out of pipe that would hold up but I wouldn't use furniture levelers. Shims would be fine and you could bang them solidly into place.

Consider using a mortise on the underside of the top to fit the top sections onto the bearing beams of the base.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby Red Square on Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:53 am

woodworking is something i greatly want to do, but that's gonna require a house with a garage, or maybe i'll go the extra mile and build a shop...
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby twelvepoint on Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:34 am

steve wrote:Threaded levelers are bad because you'll be banging on it and you'll bust them. You could make something out of pipe that would hold up but I wouldn't use furniture levelers. Shims would be fine and you could bang them solidly into place.

Consider using a mortise on the underside of the top to fit the top sections onto the bearing beams of the base.


I'd have used something substantial for the levelers, like a 1/2" or 3/4" threaded rod, but yeah, shims will be fine for a bench that will only move when I reconfigure my shop.

I get what you're saying about the mortises, but the way my frame is made, the aprons are flush with the top of the posts, so I don't have any extra length to mortise into the underside of the laminated top. That's why I thought dowels would be good.

Image

I'm thinking about doing a removable shelf that fits over the stretchers and can hold a chest of drawers. I also have an under-mount vise that needs to be installed, and I'll need to drill some holes in the aprons to accommodate the sliders and screw.

Thinking about painting it, too. Not sure what color.



(edit: had my aprons and stretchers mixed up)
Last edited by twelvepoint on Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Woodworking Thread

Postby twelvepoint on Thu Oct 23, 2014 8:39 am

Red Square wrote:woodworking is something i greatly want to do, but that's gonna require a house with a garage, or maybe i'll go the extra mile and build a shop...


If it's any inspiration, my shop is only10'x25' and I have the following
2 large benches
Table saw
8" jointer
14" band saw
5 HP cyclone dust collector
Sliding compound miter saw
Drill press
Tall tool chest
3 shelves for tools
Bureau for electronic parts
Lunchbox-type planer
Router table

You can do a lot of work in a small area, but you need to grow your shop organically, and always be thinking of how to best use the space you have.
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