WoodCentral "Editors Chat Series"

CHRIS SCHWARZ
Executive Editor, Popular Woodworking



May 25, 2004
[EDITED]


Ellis Welcome, everyone. Our guest tonight is Popular Woodworking editor, Chris Schwarz.
Ellis Hi, Chris. Nice to see you. How are we doing?
Chris_Schwarz I think we're fine.
Ellis Hi Steve. Nice to see you here.
steve.shanesy Hi Ellis. Hey those were some awesome turnings you made.
Ellis Hey, thanks, Steve.
Chris_Schwarz You should see some of Steve's turnings.
Chris_Schwarz Went to his house one day and the place is filled with the stuff.
Ellis Chris, you have been an active participant on our Hand Tools board. What got you into hand tools?
Chris_Schwarz No problem, I can blather on endlessly. Just ask my coworkers
Ellis Blather on briefly.:-()
Stephen blather well
Ellis It is Pop Woodworking night here at WoodCentral. These are the people who make the magazine
Ellis We'd like to have a couple of your pieces in Shop Shots, Steve, or the Turning Gallery.
Chris_Schwarz I bet that can be arranged. Steve also welds, and combines the two crafts.
mikeg cool
Stephen how much emphasis is placed on hand tools in your publication?
steve.shanesy So, what's anyone want to know about PW. Between the two of us, we know where all the bodies are buried.
Chris_Schwarz More and more these days.
Ellis Well, I'm sure you can put together a little PW gallery for us.
Chris_Schwarz Right now, I think that it's about 40 percent hand-tool related
Ellis Yes, I enjoy the shift in attention.
Chris_Schwarz Meat power
Stephen good answer
crackerjack Anything new and exciting coming up in the future?
Ellis Most other magazines are so focused on power tools.
TerryS Can we visit the magazine's shop if we are visiting Cincy? You are in Cincinnati, right?
Chris_Schwarz Got some good stuff in the next issue about handsaws
Chris_Schwarz Graham Blackburn has penned a missive on sharpening and using them.
steve.shanesy We're in the Queen City alright. We welcome visitors with open arms.
Ellis I would like to see the results of your research into handsaws. That's a mystery area to me.
Chris_Schwarz As Steve will attest, I am *way* into handsaws now.
mikeg me too even though i have a bunch of them
Chris_Schwarz Been talking way too much to Tom Law
Ellis There you go. I need to make the pilgrimage myself someday soon.
Chris_Schwarz He's a living treasure, Tom Law.
Ellis Tell us more, Chris...
Chris_Schwarz Ever hear about saw "hang?"
mikeg saw hang?
crackerjack nope
Ellis I was hoping this would come up. Tell us...
Chris_Schwarz I was clueless myself until recently
Chris_Schwarz It's where your hands point when you saw.
Ellis Okay.....
Chris_Schwarz In a good saw the knuckles should point to the middle of the toothline
Ellis Ah!
Chris_Schwarz But in many saws your knuckles point to the toe
Chris_Schwarz You lose a lot of power and control
mikeg what if yer hand's deformed like mine...lol
Chris_Schwarz You make a new handle
Ellis That's one of the nuances that you know but don't think about.
Ellis ...sorta know
steve.shanesy Chris showed me this the other day and we checked out several vintage saws. There really is a difference.
Chris_Schwarz It's an amazing difference.
Stephen that requires a new handle for the saw right?
Chris_Schwarz No.
Ellis And how do you gauge this difference?
Chris_Schwarz Just choose a saw (they're cheap) with the right hang.
mikeg i'm dense...i might have to have a picture
Chris_Schwarz The difference is gauged by the 12 saws I have on my wall at work
LeeGrindinger Is there a brand, chris, that pays close attention to the "hang" and how important is hand size to the hang of a saw?
Ellis Picture holding a saw in your hand, Mike. Where does your index finger point?
Chris_Schwarz I can post a picture on the boad after the chat.
mikeg usually down the side of the handle
mikeg in line with the blade
Ellis Sure. I'd like to follow up on this with a little article. I'm sure you're doing the same.
Chris_Schwarz What's interesting about the hang issue is that saws started to hang better later in the century
RobertTarr If you will pardon the drive by gloat...I notice that the handle angle (I know now as hang) was different in 1850's Diston, never sharpened before, eagle medalion #8 I picked up this weekend for $1
Chris_Schwarz But the handles stunk
Stephen older saws have their handles set higher than modern saws
JohnP say more about what you mean by "center of the toothline"
Ellis Later in the 19th century, Chris?
Chris_Schwarz And in newer saws the steel is generally more consistent (by newer I mean Depression era)
Chris_Schwarz The center of the toothline is the midpoint of the blade
mikeg most of my saws are from that period
Ellis That I believe. But is it better or worse?
JohnP ok, thanks
Chris_Schwarz I love the old handles, but the steel is spottier
SharpeningGuy Hi Chris, SharpeningGuy here, get your saws?
Ellis So the hang of the saw has to do with how your hand wraps around the handle, essentially?
Chris_Schwarz I did Steve. Thanks much. I haven't had much chance to use them
Stephen accounting for the many missing teeth
Chris_Schwarz Actually the hang is where your fingers point to on the blade.
Ellis So Chris, have you started a hand saw collection?
Chris_Schwarz You can have good hang but a bad handle
Stephen what is the ratio between crosscut and rip saws?
SharpeningGuy I'm waiting for your review, hope you aren't too tough on me
Chris_Schwarz Collection isn't the right word.
Ellis Richt, chris, but that has to do with the angle of the handle to the saw, right?
steve.shanesy Ellis, no, as I understand it, its the relationship of your hand relative to the cutting blade, what part of the blade does your hand point to.
Chris_Schwarz More like shrine
mikeg i've got an older Disston...the blade's missing about 3 or 4 inches from the tip and it's slightly bent...how best do i straighten it?...it's my favorite user
Chris_Schwarz There are two schools of thought on straightening a blade
Chris_Schwarz Smithing or bending
JohnP by pointing, is this a line perpendicular to your knuckle line??
Ellis They have special anvils and hammers for tensioning saws.
Chris_Schwarz Steve Cooke could weigh in on this better than me
mikeg forget the smithing...lol
Chris_Schwarz I've tried smithing.
Chris_Schwarz On junk saws
Chris_Schwarz Tom Law says you can botch the tensioning
crackerjack what happened?
mikeg the first 2 inches has a slight bend in it , i guess where it snaspped off
mikeg was like that when i got the saw
Chris_Schwarz It seems to work OK, but nothing like a stright blade
Ellis The objective in a hand saw is more about straightening t he blade, right?
Chris_Schwarz I guess there are so many good saws out there I pass on the bent ones.
mikeg this one was given to me
Chris_Schwarz A straight blade is key
Stephen hammer on the convex side
Stephen from the back to the teeth
mikeg it works good still, but...
SharpeningGuy I agree Chris
Chris_Schwarz Do you use a cross peen?
mikeg or a ballpeen
Stephen no a smooth round faced tinners hammer
Chris_Schwarz Interesting
LeeGrindinger Perhaps i missed this by showing up late but could you give me a sense of who your magazine is written for...the focus and the target audience?
Stephen hit on a convex anvil, an old wagon wheel tire
Ellis I keep thinking of big domed anvils and planishing hammers.
Chris_Schwarz PW is for the enthusiast. Hopefully as passionate as we are.
Ellis But, I've never seen a skilled smith straighten a saw.
Stephen those are nice if you have them Ellis
Chris_Schwarz It's apparently a rare skill these days
steve.shanesy Lee, the magazine is directed toward the home woodworker who really wants to develop his craft.
LeeGrindinger Thanks
Ellis What's your take on the demographics of your audience, C hris?
mikeg the few that i have...pop ww, have some real good articles in them
Chris_Schwarz Mostly guys, 55
steve.shanesy We try to combine the best of both handtool work and machine work. The bottom line for us is which is the most productive, the most practical.
SharpeningGuy The magazines you sent me Chris were fantastic. I can't wait to start getting mine regularly
Lloyd How is the chisel review coming? What Japanese chisels are you testing?
Chris_Schwarz Steve, excellent.
Ellis Hmm, I surely fit the pattern :-)
Chris_Schwarz The chisel review stage one is done
Chris_Schwarz I tested Matsumura blue steels, and two Nishiki chisels
Ellis Can you discuss your test procedures?
Chris_Schwarz Sure
Chris_Schwarz I sharpened them all the same
steve.shanesy Take it Chris.
Chris_Schwarz Shaptons to 8,000 grit
Ellis That oughta do it.
Christopher_Fitch Hello Chris and Steve S. I have a question that may not be appropriate but I'm curious about it. What do you guys do *besides* woodworking/running the magazine? What other interests do you have?
Chris_Schwarz Then we basically hit them in rounds of 20 smacks in redheart
Chris_Schwarz Nasty stuff
SharpeningGuy Ellis, the articles are really down to earth and understandable, I highly reccommend this magazine.
Ellis Totally inbounds, Christopher.
Chris_Schwarz After each round we examined them under a loupe
Chris_Schwarz Then we pared end grain cherry
steve.shanesy Christopher, I spend a lot of evenings and weekends in my home shop. A Busmans holiday
Chris_Schwarz We had three editors do the examining and paring independently
SharpeningGuy Parties at Chris's house !!!
Ellis Yeah, SG, I like it myself.
SharpeningGuy lol
Chris_Schwarz Then we did 20 more wacks.
Chris_Schwarz Eventually more than 120
Chris_Schwarz Then we strted all over again
Chris_Schwarz Repeatability
Ellis So basically you were doing an empirical test of how well the edge held under stress...
Chris_Schwarz That was half of it
Chris_Schwarz I think ergonomics are given short shrift
steve.shanesy I really have to say, that for several of the edit staff, woodworking is a passion, not just a job. I've been at it for 25 years, the first 15 as a furniture/cabinetmaker.
mikeg these were just your ordinary butt chisels?
Chris_Schwarz In fact an uncomfortable chisel is pretty useless
Ellis I'm curious whether you found a difference from the beginning tests to the ending tests?
Chris_Schwarz The data was pretty consistent
Chris_Schwarz And it matched up with data from a 1999 test
Chris_Schwarz We also tested the new LNs
Ellis So these were all Japanese chisels?
Chris_Schwarz And Ashley Iles
Chris_Schwarz Old Bucks
Chris_Schwarz A Witherby
Chris_Schwarz A Swan
Ellis Ah. that will be sure to be of interest.
Ellis Hello Jim.
Chris_Schwarz And as Barr
RobertTarr I smell a big chisel debate on the board
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Hi
Chris_Schwarz The Barrs are really interesting
Chris_Schwarz Hey Jim!
Chris_Schwarz Chisels, saws, you name it
Ellis I just remember Toshio talking about work hardening (or tempering) his chisels, by pounding them into something similar.
Chris_Schwarz And that chisels get better with use
Ellis Hey, there ought to be a debate. People want to know.
mikeg mine get plenty of that...lol
Chris_Schwarz Do you think that's true?
AndyL Chris, those of us who just signed up for the magazine will be able to read the test results? or do we buy that issue?
Chris_Schwarz I wonder if it's a comfort level thing, like a sweater or a good spouse
Christopher_Fitch hehe
mikeg probably
SharpeningGuy Chris, have you guys tried anything that has been cryogenically treated
Chris_Schwarz The review comes out in August
steve.shanesy Andy, that depends on when you signed up.
Chris_Schwarz It's short
mikeg just like your favorite plane or saw
Ellis You're a dreamer, Chris, but you may be right about familiarity. :-)
Chris_Schwarz I'll post a complete report on WC
Chris_Schwarz And I'm writing three pages on it for Fine Tool journal
Lloyd Great! I am a teacher, so funds are low until Sept. anyway.
Ellis That would be nice. It will be a nice review to have in our articles archive....
Chris_Schwarz I can't wait for Clarence's chat
AndyL Just today Steve, Ellis posted a link to the special rate and I jumped all over it
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Chris did you get a chance to test the new LV prototype jack plane?
mikeg how much longer is the special on for?
Chris_Schwarz Yes, in Ottawa in March
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario overall impression?
Chris_Schwarz Rob Lee says it has changed since then, but I was impressed.
steve.shanesy Andy, or anyone here, if you've just signed up and don't get the review, simply contact Chris and or me and we'll put a copy in the mail, gratis.
Chris_Schwarz It has good presence and mass
Chris_Schwarz I think it will sell *very* well
Christopher_Fitch Chris: what about the bullnose plane?
Chris_Schwarz I just got it on Friday
AndyL Thanks ,Steve it's timely as probably my next"major" purchase
Chris_Schwarz It's nice, though the sole is a bit out of true
Ellis What planes does the average woodworker really need? Any thoughts on that?
Chris_Schwarz Easily lappable. I'm a bit fussy
Chris_Schwarz You need a smoother
Chris_Schwarz It's the most used plane in my shop
mikeg and a good block...LA
Chris_Schwarz Yup
Ellis Me too.
Chris_Schwarz I couldn't work without a shoulder plane
mikeg that's my most used plane
Ellis Okay.
Chris_Schwarz But maybe because my tenons need work
Chris_Schwarz I also use a #7 a lot
mikeg as a carpenter, the block can be shoved down into a nail apron
Ellis Me too, Chris.
Chris_Schwarz Really, it's those four planes for most work
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Do you get the feeling that using a smoother all the time wears on it and you spend to much time touching up the blade for final smoothing?
Chris_Schwarz Of course, I have many more.....
mikeg don't we all
Russ_Allen Hi meikj
Chris_Schwarz I keep a couple blades for my smoother
Ellis I must say my L-N block planes are very important in my shop.
Christopher_Fitch the number grows ever larger...
Ellis What's the difference, Chris?
Chris_Schwarz So I can keep a sharp one for the final pass
meikj hey russ - crowded in here tonight!
mikeg as long as swmbo isn't looking over my shoulder when i'm on Ebay...lol
Stephen do you use any wooden planes Chris?
Chris_Schwarz Ellis, just sharpness
Chris_Schwarz I have a C & W that I really really like
Ellis Wow. That sounds like a really efficient way of doing it without losing your momentum.
Chris_Schwarz The mouth is as big as a gnat's behind
Chris_Schwarz It's the only thing that will really plane the wild stuff sometimes
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Ellis that's a great point as to hearing any tips to keep you momentum when working with hand tools
Stephen notice the difference in the center of gravity between metal and wooden planes?
Ellis Yeah, precision counts a lot at that level of shaving.
Chris_Schwarz One note for the group. David Charlesworth has an article coming out comparing infills to Bedrock LNs
Chris_Schwarz Stephen, oh yes
Chris_Schwarz I am so clumsy with wooden jointers.
Chris_Schwarz Don McConnell, our hand tool guy, laughs when i use one
Chris_Schwarz It's a different center of gravity
mikeg can a hock iron be used on a transitional?
Ellis Thanks Jim. For me the trick was always to just sharpen in no time flat. But a spare blade is a solid alternative.
Lloyd WIll you guys be back in Ontario in Jan. at the WoodWorks show? I like my Knight planes.
Chris_Schwarz Mike, I've never tried a hock in a transitional
Chris_Schwarz Ron Hock would know
Ellis I love them, Chris. I like transitionals more, but you have to tune the mouth and throat.
Chris_Schwarz I think we are going back to Ontario
steve.shanesy We'll be in Ontario, with bells on.
Chris_Schwarz S. Cal in January?
Chris_Schwarz You bet
Ellis That is a very nice show.
mikeg do y'all ever get to greenville, SC?
Chris_Schwarz Old Deltagrams
Stephen less chatter with wooden bodied planes
Ellis Search our Shop Shots, Thriller.
Chris_Schwarz Seriously
Chris_Schwarz Don McConnell swears by his woodies.
Chris_Schwarz And I won't argue with him
Chris_Schwarz I just started with metal planes
Chris_Schwarz and so I've stuck there for the most part.
Chris_Schwarz But soon we're entering the world of hollows and rounds
Ellis I'd like to go to a users swap meet, where knowledgeable collectors show off the best planes and saws.
steve.shanesy The old Deltagrams had some great stuff in them. I swear I sometimes feel we are just recycling today
RobertTarr can't wait for that one
Ellis larry Williams is your man for that.
mikeg supposed to go to an estate auction this weekend
Chris_Schwarz Tod Herrli is doing an article for us on it
Stephen those will be wood Chris
Chris_Schwarz I'm going up to his place on Monday
Chris_Schwarz Yes, H & R are difficult to float out in steel
Ellis Is he a maker or a user?
Chris_Schwarz Both
Chris_Schwarz Did a nice video on the process
Russ_Allen Tod is the guy with the h&r video
Chris_Schwarz It's really easy stuff
Chris_Schwarz He even shows you how to make floats
Ellis How are you going to integrate these in-depth hand tool articles into the magazine?
Chris_Schwarz And thoise, by the way, are great for through mortises
TerryS Anyone here made a set of floats? Any advice?
Russ_Allen I have a pair of floats that Tod made me
Chris_Schwarz Integration!
Chris_Schwarz Good question
Ellis I have one from Larry Williams.
mikeg What shows do y'all do in the South?
Ellis Thought so
Chris_Schwarz I do love power tools, too. There I said it.
mikeg lol
Ellis Okay. Now you can stay. :-)
Chris_Schwarz My therapist recommended this
Chris_Schwarz Much better
SharpeningGuy Chris !!! Say it ain't so !!!
Stephen we all have problems
Ellis Well, I think t here is a balance in what your target reader is interested in.
AndyL now if you can say"I'm a user,not a collector"....
Chris_Schwarz You cannot give up the power tool stuff
AndyL lol
Chris_Schwarz Andy, I can't say that....
steve.shanesy Hand tools, power tools, its all about the craft. I don't understand why folks want to take sides. It shouldn't even be an issue. Both belong, both are necessary.
Chris_Schwarz Exactly boss
AndyL Me either, Chris
Ellis It's refreshing to concentrate more on what people don't know than on what they statistically want to hear.
Stephen anyone can use powertools
Christopher_Fitch How about the new magazine? Are you planning on producing that magazine more frequently?
Chris_Schwarz anyone can use hand tools
mikeg not really stephen
tcaley But most magazine seem to only focus on power tools, very few hand tool articles.
Chris_Schwarz The next issue is coming out in July
SharpeningGuy The room is spinning ... Help !!!
Ellis Right, because reader surveys say that people are most likely to read power tool articles.
SharpeningGuy lol
Lloyd Chris and steve has the LV sharpener replaced the Shaptons in your sharpening since your article?
Chris_Schwarz They just need encouragement.
tcaley they should survey us then.......
Chris_Schwarz The LV sharpener is still in use
steve.shanesy There are some magazines that want to give people what they want, while others try to lead. As an editor, I believe, and I know Chris will agree, that's its our job to lead.
Chris_Schwarz But I can't give up stones
Christopher_Fitch Have you found that the no-ad style in the new magazine is popular with the readers?
Ellis That's a bold and exciting position to take, Chris. I think most of us agree with your focus.
Carole_in_VA I want to learn to use both...it would be nice to have a mag with a healthy balance!
Chris_Schwarz Carol, glad to hear that
Chris_Schwarz As to ads, some people really like ads
mikeg mostly what it takes is patience and practice in using power or hand tools
Chris_Schwarz Sounds crazy, but it's tru
Ellis There are a lot of ways that magazines determine their direction. Most play by the numbers.
Carole_in_VA Ads are the only way I have of knowing what's out there...I live in the sticks!
crackerjack As long as you keep some hand tool content I'll keep reading it.
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario I think the key to hand tools is learning how to sharpen them. What's you opinion?
meikj the new magazine seems like a more fine tuned "woodsmith". is that the market you are trying to hit?
Chris_Schwarz Sharpening is the gateway skill
mikeg yep
Ellis Sure, ads are important communication tools. The market knows what's new.
Chris_Schwarz and not just to hand tools
SharpeningGuy now your'e talking
steve.shanesy Look, I'm not ashamed to admit that I had to be sold on hand tool use. But I came from a commercial, get-it-done enviornment. Now I understand that our readers are pursuing their craft for enrichment and enjoyment. Hand tools have a very definite place.
mikeg more people get hurt with dull tools than anything else
Chris_Schwarz I never get tired of talking about sharpening
Ellis Gateway skill. Gotta remember that one. Good term
SharpeningGuy ya gotta luv this guy !!! LOL
Ellis I did an editorial about it once.
Chris_Schwarz Once you can sharpen....
Carole_in_VA Guess I'm not thru the gate yet. :o(
Chris_Schwarz carving
Chris_Schwarz turning
Chris_Schwarz planes
RobertTarr I normally flip right past the "6 must have power tools for every shop" articles, but would find it refreshing to see it phrased arround tools, and include the most used hand tools and power tools for someone starting to get into this hobby (past power drill and circular saw)
Chris_Schwarz chisels
Ellis It is truly the key to all woodworking operations.'
crackerjack I had to learn to sharpen when I got my first pocketknife
mikeg yes Ellis...even in power tools
Lloyd Please keep up the hand tool articles. I love the combination that you have, but I really love the hand tool stuff.
crackerjack I was 7 I think
Chris_Schwarz The next issue of Woodworking magazine will upset a lot of people when it comes to sharpening
Ellis I would just like to see sharpening reduced to its simplest essentials instead of a lot of elaborate contraptions and procedures.
Christopher_Fitch Well for my limited expreience, I must say I'm pleased with my waterstones... Given all the info on sharpening that's available, I am slowly improving...
Carole_in_VA I am getting passable duty from my planes using the scary sharp method, but then I don't know if I have ever seen a perfectly tuned plane so I have nothing to compare it with.
Chris_Schwarz Good point
mikeg I can sharpen a chisel or a plane iron, but can't sharpen a knife to cut hot butter
Chris_Schwarz You need to know sharp to get sharp
SharpeningGuy why Chris ?
Carole_in_VA Exactly!
Chris_Schwarz I do a tutorial on sharpening chisels that defies a lot of the dogma out there
Chris_Schwarz Welcome back Stephen
Chris_Schwarz Like the fact taht you need a medium-grit stone
Ellis What's the gist of the tutorial?
Christopher_Fitch Ellis: I know what you mean, but one thing I have noticed is that there are little bits of knowledge that are often missed or don't seem important until you take the time to sharpen a great deal
Chris_Schwarz People sharpen too much.
Chris_Schwarz Better edges through less sharpening
steve.shanesy Are we talking about honing then, Chris.
Chris_Schwarz More thought, less motion
meikj now you're talking. same folks that are in the perfectly flat sole society.
Chris_Schwarz Yes, mostly honing.
mikeg a lot of carpewnters just use the belt sander with 120 grit and call it good
Carole_in_VA Difference between shapening and honing?
Chris_Schwarz More a difference between grinding and honing
Ellis Well, that's another extension of this, Christopher F. You need to practice to get the hang of it. It's like learning to tango.
Carole_in_VA Ooooh I love to tango! Wanna dance Ellis? :-)
steve.shanesy Well, a lot of carpenters are just hogging off material. that edge will crumble in a heartbeat. And they are working in softwoods.
Ellis The scary sharp method is not a final destination for someone who wants to learn to sharpen. But it is quick.
mikeg mostly
Ellis Carole, that sounds like fun.
SharpeningGuy you mean they tango in the Virginia sticks ?
Chris_Schwarz Think about this: six strokes on a stone and then stop
Christopher_Fitch perhaps the one thing I have learned that seems to be very important is sharpening in a consistent manner... such as making sure the blade is held at the same angle.
Chris_Schwarz Examine you edge
Carole_in_VA What stones should I get Chris? I have none now.
Chris_Schwarz If you use waterstones, you're probably almost done
mikeg scaryshasrp is the method i use because it's cheap and i'm a cheap bastartd...lol
Christopher_Fitch Ellis: Having just jumped from "scary sharp" to waterstones, I completely understand that point
Chris_Schwarz I like waterstones. They are also cheap
Chris_Schwarz And they cut fast
Ellis Y'know what, Mike. The cost isn't an issue really.
Chris_Schwarz But they are messy
steve.shanesy Hey Mike, you're like a lot of woodworkers I know.
Russ_Allen Radio shack makes a $10 magnifier with a light that's great to see what the edge looks like. I think it's a 50x
Chris_Schwarz And need maintenance
Lloyd Okay, Ellis, what is the final destination?
Ellis Even that isn't a problem once you figure it out.
Ellis Higher grits, Lloyd.
mikeg i do have a stone i keep in my tool box
Chris_Schwarz You also can buy a $10 30x jewelers loupe
Chris_Schwarz Which is good for examining edges
Christopher_Fitch for the mess, I made a tray...really keeps it in check :)
Russ_Allen put does it have a light? :-) It really helps me
Chris_Schwarz Ditto that
mikeg is it best to sharpen by eye or use a guide?
Ellis I can put a 5000 or 8000 grit edge on a blade faster than I can put a 2000 grit edge on it with sandpaper.
Chris_Schwarz I have a light in a bench dog on my bench A $10 Staples special
Chris_Schwarz I use the $10 side-clamp guide
crackerjack Mikeg ,for knives ,look for a Lansky sharpener.
Chris_Schwarz for chisels and plane irons
Christopher_Fitch Chris: what kind of light from staples?
mikeg thnx CJ
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario I think people get caught up in the polished but after showing them it's no sharp they seem to understand
Ellis A light in a bench dog????
Chris_Schwarz Just a cheap desk light with an articulated arm.
mikeg i had the LV guide until the fire
meikj scary sharp really got me started. i still use abrasive sheets, but now try to match the grits i use with what waterstones most people use. the micron graded sheets last much longer and cut much quicker than normal SC wet/dry paper.
Chris_Schwarz I made a bung (can I say that?)
Ellis Oh, I get it..
Chris_Schwarz For a bench dog hole
Ellis Nope you're censored.
Chris_Schwarz dang
Stephen outside of dogs, books are a mans best friend
TerryS Chris, the best advice you gave me was to "pick a sharpening system and stick with it for a good long time." That was a great article.
Ellis What else can you call it
Chris_Schwarz Drilled a hole in the bung for the post of the lamp
Chris_Schwarz Thanks Terry
Stephen inside a dog it is too dark to read
Ellis Whew. Now I get it.
Ellis I'm into oblique sidelight myself.
Christopher_Fitch Chris: something like this: http://www.staples.com/Catalog/Browse/Sku.asp?PageType=1&Sku=408203
Chris_Schwarz So I can put this lamp anywhere on my bench that I have a dog hole
Christopher_Fitch ?
Ellis Excellent idea, Chris. I may have to try that.
Chris_Schwarz yup
Carole_in_VA I have one of those lamps. I wouldn't trade it for anything!
Christopher_Fitch cool...
Chris_Schwarz It's great for finding plane tracks
mikeg i've got one of those gathering dust...guess i'll have to dust it off
Ellis Okay, so if you had to get just two stones, what would they be?
Chris_Schwarz Easy
Lloyd Ellis, I have been trying to use the scary sharp method, and I am afraid that you are right. I have been thinking of the LV system "still sandpaper" or the Shapton.
steve.shanesy Those lamps are great for turning too.
Chris_Schwarz A DMT dupSharp and a 6,000 King
Chris_Schwarz If I could have three stones, I'd add a 1,000 king or shapton or norton
Ellis I will never be a convert to sandpaper systems. But that's me. I don't use jigs either.
Christopher_Fitch interesting. Have you had much experience with the Norton waterstones?
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Have you found that the DMT wears quickly on the course side?
Chris_Schwarz Yes, I've used the Nortons for a couple years at home
mikeg it's been fun y'all and very informative...appreciate your time Chris and Steve
Chris_Schwarz No weare problems on the DMTs. Usually it's just clogging
Ellis Aha. Here's another way of aking it... If you already had a good 800 grit stone, what would be the next two grits you bought?
Chris_Schwarz It's hard to ruin the DMTs unless you press WAY too hard
steve.shanesy Hey Mike , our pleasure. We love it. Hope to get invited back again.
mikeg hope so steve
Ellis They do wear down in time though, I've noticed.
Chris_Schwarz Ellis, probably a polshing stone
RobertTarr Ellis, was that 800 or 8000?
Ellis 800
Chris_Schwarz Try sending them back to DMT. They clean them and they come back much better
Chris_Schwarz They do cut really fast out of the gate
Chris_Schwarz Really, the key is to not use too much pressure when sharpening on anything
Chris_Schwarz That's a big mistake lots make
Christopher_Fitch shifting gears. Chris, you have produced a number of workbench building articles. I have built two of yours. What is your favorite bench?
Ellis What I'm getting at is that there are really two classes of sharpening: one is at the forming stage, where you're removing a lot of steel; and the other is at the sharpening stage, where you are taking it to a final edge. The latter is the most common shop operation, so it needs its own regime.
Chris_Schwarz My next one
Chris_Schwarz The Joinery Bench
Christopher_Fitch the one you mentioned..
Christopher_Fitch ahhh
Chris_Schwarz Does your back hurt when dovetailing?
Chris_Schwarz Bending over to mortise?
Ellis Which issue was that in, Chris?
Chris_Schwarz It hasn't been published yet
Ellis Aha.
Chris_Schwarz I'm thinking of putting the prelim drawings on WC for comment
RobertTarr Please do
Chris_Schwarz It's a small high bench with a big twin screw
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario I try to sit down when dovetailing it's easier to get the chisel square
Ellis Interesting notion. Let's discuss.
Christopher_Fitch that would be excellent... I'm very curious about it after picking up one of those record hold-downs you mentioned
Chris_Schwarz Old-time dovetailers used a cut and run method
crackerjack I alternate between sitting and standing
Chris_Schwarz It involved stacking parts on the bench
Ellis I used to have a scraping bench.
Ellis I stand
Chris_Schwarz Your cut on one piece would score the part below
Ellis It's important not to chop into the benchtop.
Chris_Schwarz That's how they cut dovetails on 28" benches
Stephen gang sawing dovetails
Chris_Schwarz and they were shorter, too
steve.shanesy I prefer standing too.
Chris_Schwarz Yes, it's like gang sawing in a way
Christopher_Fitch hmm...
Chris_Schwarz The would stack the parts up quite high
Chris_Schwarz Didn't really use a vise
Ellis But you could only cut from one to the next, right?
Chris_Schwarz It's hard to describe... a lost technique really
Stephen cut at a comfortable height
Ellis Is it useful today, Chris?
crackerjack tricky keeping things from moving around
Chris_Schwarz Your cut on the tailboard would score the board below for the pin cut
Chris_Schwarz less layout.
Chris_Schwarz more speed
Chris_Schwarz and work at a comfortable height
Ellis More control needed, too.
Chris_Schwarz Skill etc
Chris_Schwarz So instead, we're going to make a higher bench
Stephen the scoring is more accurate that laying out again
Chris_Schwarz For today's backs
Ellis Yeah, I've never done that, but it sounds like a reasonable way to do it.
Chris_Schwarz If you've ever dovetailed on a 38" bench or a 40" bench it's a joy
Stephen you layout with the dovetail saw
Chris_Schwarz Much less fatiguing
Stephen no need to pick up a pencil or scribe
Chris_Schwarz Stephen, exactly
Chris_Schwarz you got it
Ellis I have benches at 35" and 33 " height. That covers me for planing and chopping. I have thoughta bout getting a Noden bench, too.
Stephen minimum tool handling
Chris_Schwarz We're setting up Noden's bench now.
Chris_Schwarz Nice
Chris_Schwarz Also, this joinery bench will have serious tool storage below
Ellis Yeah, it is a fine idea./
Chris_Schwarz I'll get the CAD finished in a couple weeks and post a pdf.
steve.shanesy The Noden bench is an intersting concept. I've used adjutable benches, but this one is infinitely adjustable. Great concept.
Chris_Schwarz Then we'll have the denizens review it
JohnP great evening, but must say goodnight.
Lloyd Will you be doing a report? I have been speaking with Mr. Noden. With my back the height adj. sound good.
Ellis Prepare thyself :-)
crackerjack how long till the bench article is out?
Chris_Schwarz Probably February
Chris_Schwarz Lonnie Bird is doing an article in that issue on dovetailing for us
Chris_Schwarz It should be the dovetailing issue
crackerjack cool
Ellis Geoff Noden is a good pal of mine. I can tell you his bench is a wonderful invention.
Stephen that is why they invented jacks and carving stands
Chris_Schwarz if my plans don't go awry
Chris_Schwarz The LV carving bench is part of my inspiration
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario you have 6 or more months of articles prepared?
Chris_Schwarz Not always
Ellis Now how could that happen, Chris?
steve.shanesy Is was at Lonnie's place a couple weeks ago. His work is incredible. I've seen thousands of pieces, and i think his is the best.
Ellis (Not ever. :-)
Chris_Schwarz We have bits and pieces of February planned right now.
Chris_Schwarz Filling in the holes is the hardest part
Chris_Schwarz Yes, Lonnie is incredible.
Chris_Schwarz Wish I had 10 percent of his talent
Ellis Lonnie is a great craftsman. He's really come into his own
Chris_Schwarz And that school is in a great place
Chris_Schwarz Beautiful country
Ellis Have you attended a class with him, Chris?
steve.shanesy His detailing is amazing. I've never seen such crisp work.
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario How skilled is he at conveying his skills in person?
Chris_Schwarz No, just photo shoots. Kara Gebhart took a class there.
crackerjack You ever do any articles on hammers,history of,types,etc.
Chris_Schwarz She loved it. Built a table.
Chris_Schwarz Jack, not hammers yet.
Chris_Schwarz Any ideas for me?
Ellis Great.
Ellis Jackhammers?
Chris_Schwarz I love the Warringtons
crackerjack lol
steve.shanesy Lonnie taught for years at Rio Grande College. He's as much a teacher as his is a craftsman.
Christopher_Fitch so Steve, Chris, a difficult question: Who would you say was the biggest influence on you in woodworking?
Chris_Schwarz Very patient.
Carole_in_VA His books are good
Lloyd Thanks. Got to go.
crackerjack I have a nice Maydole
Chris_Schwarz Don't know the Maydole
Ellis Me either
Chris_Schwarz Biggest influence?
Chris_Schwarz Grandfather and father.
crackerjack I believe he invented the claw hammer style we know
Chris_Schwarz I have so many heroes.
Ellis Aha, CJ
Chris_Schwarz Charles Hayward.
Stephen and why does a cabinetmaker need a claw hammer?
crackerjack I don't know much but I'm interested
Ellis To bang on his bench dogs.
steve.shanesy That's a very hard question. Different people influence me in various ways. George Nakashima was a true hero of mine and Tage Frid was too. But then I worked with some world class craftsman in Los Angeles that just blew my socks off every day of the week.
crackerjack I use mine around the shop all the time
Stephen we never bend nails do we?
Christopher_Fitch cool...
Chris_Schwarz Jeez, you think I could have some better answers Christopher
Chris_Schwarz Sorry
Christopher_Fitch hehehe
Stephen Hayward is good
Christopher_Fitch well as I said it's a difficult question.
Christopher_Fitch :)
Ellis Maybe it comes down to furniture styles and styles of working
Chris_Schwarz I've been thiking we should do the 10 heroes of woodworking
Ellis Two separate questions, or are they?
Christopher_Fitch hmm..
Chris_Schwarz Probably true.
Ellis You'll just disappoint all the rest of them, Chris. :-)
Christopher_Fitch that's true, you could split it into inspirtions in skill, styles
Stephen People prefer new styles of working and old styles of furniture
Chris_Schwarz But I think craftsmanship inspires me even when the style does not
steve.shanesy Look, there are designers and there are craftsmen. Occassionally, they cross. When you get the hybrid, its something special.
Ellis Craftsmanship is definitely a common denominator.
Chris_Schwarz It's what attracts me.
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario With so many skill sets required to be a whole talented craftsman you would be pressed to limit it to 10 people
Chris_Schwarz Ellis, who influenced you, not to turn the tables
Ellis So maybe we can hang a definition on craftsmanship...?
steve.shanesy I'd agree that 10 is very limiting.
Chris_Schwarz Jim, indeed. Maybe 30
Christopher_Fitch Chris: I hear that... my wife and I argue about how a house looks. I may find a particular house not very attractive but if the owners do a nice job of presetning the house and the landscape, I will find it to be nice
Ellis I was more into ends than means. Greene and Greene really revved me up.
Chris_Schwarz I respect a lot more work than I like
Ellis Check out "An Old Way of Seeing", Christopher
Chris_Schwarz The Greenes were amazing, as was the shop that did their work
Ellis We have a review of it in our books department
Chris_Schwarz I love that book. Changed my life
steve.shanesy I think a true appreication for the craft overcomes personal taste.
Chris_Schwarz I own two copies. One to loan.
Ellis yes, the Halls were really the craftsmen
Christopher_Fitch ellis: is that by jonathon hale?
Ellis Right
Chris_Schwarz I've never looked at Greek Revival the same way
Christopher_Fitch ok
Chris_Schwarz I used to like the stuff.... until I realized what it replaced
steve.shanesy At the risk of offending, the Greene's are the essence of A&C/
Ellis It's really ironic that for a lot of people it represents a whole new way of seeing.
Chris_Schwarz I bought a copy about 10 years ago. probably read it five times
Stephen Classic Revival and Fedral Period are the best
crackerjack I think an article about important people to woodworking that many woodworkers don't know much about would be interesting
Ellis Essential? Sorta.
Chris_Schwarz Interesting idea Jack. Who would be on that list?
Stephen Phyfe, Seymore, MacIntire
crackerjack Tage Frid for one
Ellis Steve, the essence of A&C is more philosophical than stylistic.
Ellis To me
steve.shanesy It's important to respect our heritage.
Chris_Schwarz Agreed. Has the A & C movement really ended?
crackerjack Most I've never heard of
Christopher_Fitch ellis: Ian Kirby stresses that alot...
Ellis Classic styles were the height of craft in a lot of areas.
Chris_Schwarz Barnsley!
Chris_Schwarz I must build stuff by Barnsley.
Stephen Goddard & Townsend
Chris_Schwarz There's a table in this new A& C book that has be totally juiced by Sidney Barnsley.
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Good luck on tracing down Barnsley Books
Stephen Belter
Chris_Schwarz Stephen, I'm writing this down
Stephen Hepplewhite
steve.shanesy Well, as Chris well knows, I'm not a fan of A&C. Crate furniture, I call it. But the Greenes influence from Japan took the hard edges off and made it elegant.
Stephen Sheraton
Stephen Chippendale
Chris_Schwarz No one from rococco?
Stephen The Adams Brothers
Chris_Schwarz You're going to write this article for me
Stephen Tom represents the rococcos
Chris_Schwarz I should do this more often
Ellis Right, Steve. That would have been my objection to it being the essence. More like the evolved state.
steve.shanesy Geez, what about the Eames?
Stephen sure
Ellis I guess we're talking the same thing.
Chris_Schwarz Noguchi?
Ellis Chris how are you going to get all that into an article?? :-)
Stephen Pergolisis and Canelletos work on the Herculeneum and Pompeii
Chris_Schwarz I don't know. Maybe have a Furniture Idol competition
crackerjack Chris,that would be mutually satisfying. I believe everyone's enjoying this
Ellis That would sure be off the beaten path, Stephen. :-)
Christopher_Fitch hehehe
Ellis Okay, so the point may be that craftsmanship is where you find it .
Chris_Schwarz They found planes at Pompeii, so I guess those people were OK
Christopher_Fitch ahahah
Ellis G&G made A&C more lyrical, for sure.
Stephen The Romans had infills, imagine that
Ellis Sure. They found hide glue in the tombs in Egypt, didn't they, Stephen?
Chris_Schwarz And dovetails
Ellis Sure, they didn't have screws.
Stephen yes and in the \
Stephen Dead Sea Area
steve.shanesy Craftsmanship is craftsmanship and good design is good design. all the craftmanship in the world won't make up for bad design.
AndyL Chris and Steve thanks for taking the time,I look forward to the magazine showing up..now if I can stop reading WoodCentral long enough....
Stephen 8000 years old
AndyL Thanks to you Ellis as well,night all
Chris_Schwarz Thanks for coming by
Christopher_Fitch you know that's something I think that we have an advantage with... living in our time...or more specifically in the information age as it is called.
Ellis Some of the Asian hand tools go back that far.
steve.shanesy Hey Andy, Woodcentral get you your daily fix.
Stephen but Hogarth and others removed a lot of the bad design by simple mathematical analysis
Chris_Schwarz Some would say the Asian tools never evolved from the Egyptian period
Ellis I'm wary of formulaic design, Stephen.
Chris_Schwarz Pull saws look a lot like Egyptian ssaws
Stephen Central and South American tools date way back
Ellis More like formulas follow art.
Stephen come on Ellis
Dan_D I think we can get some good milage out of the critiques board. I enjoyed reading the last thread that was there.
steve.shanesy Yes, Hogarth sort of wrote the book on aethetics and the nature of craft and art.
Stephen Palladian figured it all out
Christopher_Fitch In older days, woodworking knowledge was guarded closesly within the guilds... or many bits of knowledge were lost only to be discovered again. Yet in our time, there are vast amounts of knowledge available now...and we can do things like get on woodcentral chats! to exchange information.
Ellis There is art in formulas, but the instinct is totally individual.
Chris_Schwarz Even Old Way of Seeing cautions against the golden section as a guiding design force
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario I am curious to hear you thoughts on avoiding the dreaded tearout when using hand tools
Ellis Right. A twist is always fun.
Chris_Schwarz High angles Jim
Ellis Always plane sugar pine
Stephen They are guidelines not rules
Chris_Schwarz High angles make all the difference.
Stephen there are no rules except wood moves
Chris_Schwarz And not just 50 degrees
Chris_Schwarz I've seen wooden 18th century jointers with 60 degree pitch
Ellis What is the York pitch?
Chris_Schwarz And then you can say farewell to your tight mouth
Dan_D My C & W's are at 55
steve.shanesy Even the best design can becme boring thrugh repetition. The eye needs excitement, but the sense of proprotion and scale must always be there.
Chris_Schwarz York is 50 if I'm not mistaken
Stephen you are correct
SharpeningGuy yes chris
Chris_Schwarz Once you cross 55 things change
Chris_Schwarz the surface looks different
Chris_Schwarz more like scraping
Ellis Agreed, Steve. This is making me want to go out to the shop and plane something.
Chris_Schwarz but you can plane Australian woods
Dan_D and concrete?
Chris_Schwarz And work off those extra pounds
Ellis Sure, as long as the combination of factors adds up.
Dan_D aren't they the same?
Chris_Schwarz Good bedding, of course
Chris_Schwarz Sharp iron
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Hand tools are good for keeping your blood sugar down also
Chris_Schwarz I'm not sold on the tight mouth at high angles
Chris_Schwarz Show me the mouth on a card scraper
Chris_Schwarz And good for keeping your wallet lighter
Ellis Hmm. Good point
Chris_Schwarz Some people argue that a card scraper is actually a low-angle tool
Chris_Schwarz It depends on how you view the burr
Ellis What do you say?
steve.shanesy Hey, guys, this is great. This was billed as about Pop Wood, but really it's about woodworking, getting down to it, and really, that's what Pop Wood's all about these days.
Chris_Schwarz And how you turn it
tcaley I have to sign off all. Thank you Chris and Steve for a very enjoyable chat. Good night.
Chris_Schwarz Thanks for coming by
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario With card scrapers you tend to dig holes trying to clean up tearout
crackerjack Me too,I really enjoyed this. Thanks and Goodnight
Chris_Schwarz Agreed
Ellis I certainly appreciate both of you coming by
Carole_in_VA Me too...past my bedtime. Enjoyed it Chris, Steve and Ellis! Thanks.
Chris_Schwarz Glad to do it. I am a woodworking geek
Ellis It went overtime, but it has been a good one. Thanks so much, everyone.
steve.shanesy Good night all, and thanks Ellis./
Ellis We all are, Chris. Thanks again. We'll have a transcript up in the next day or so.
Jim_in_Burlington_Ontario Thanks and good night
Chris_Schwarz Yep, anything I missed in the posts, just ping me
Chris_Schwarz Farewell.
Tom Thanks and good eve
SharpeningGuy you are most welcome Ellis / Chris / Steve
RobertTarr Thanks for the time and for sharing and for the great offer on the mag. Have a great week
Dan_D thanks Steve and Chris
Chris_Schwarz Thanks Steve
SharpeningGuy thanks my friend
Dan_D also thanks to Ellis for making it possible
steve.shanesy And thank you, Chris.
Chris_Schwarz No problem boss
Russ_Allen I just took you up on the subscription deal. But why no discover card? (that's where I work!!)
steve.shanesy Night Ellie


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