Exercises in Artisanship

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Blog series by jjw5858 updated 01-22-2013 12:01 AM 34 parts 132738 reads 241 comments total

Part 1: Making a saw handle PART 1

03-26-2012 10:01 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

I thought it might be an interesting idea to make Exercises in Artisanship a blog series! I want to thank the interest in the initial blog of the series title, glad some of you enjoyed it. Special thanks to Brit (Andy) for the kind props. This time I went back to the drawing board…literally…lol. I Sketched through a few more ideas to make a final useable handle that will be executed in a slab of maple. I spent time enjoying the exper...

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Part 2: Making a saw handle PART 2

03-28-2012 08:15 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

Hey friends, thank you for taking the time to read part one of this blog series, I hope you may enjoy the second installment of this series as well. This process has been as I expected more of a challenge in Maple…lol. But I realized it provided me the chance to have a stronger handle and learn more about how to work with this particular species. My entire working process has in many ways changed in the last few weeks. For one thing I now find it more focusing to stop after a new ...

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Part 3: Making a saw handle PART 3

04-02-2012 09:26 PM by jjw5858 | 10 comments »

Hi once again friends hope this Monday has been treating you well. I thought it might be time to add my third installment of my latest blog and project “Making a saw handle” and I hope you have all enjoyed this mini-series as much as I have in building and posting the progress. As I have gone on with this build some mistakes were made. I expected greater miscues than I got keeping in mind this is only a first full out attempt at making, fitting and using a handsaw handle…...

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Part 4: New designs, challenges and styles to find!

04-10-2012 01:07 AM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

Hey friends, hope all is well. Thought I would post the latest shop endeavour….making a new handle design with this maple stock! Not sure if everyone caught the final to the last handle project so here is the link for that: My objective for the first project was to stay conservative while still taking some chances. As I finished the project I was very happy with the outcome and still honest with myself about what I can improve on in the future...

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Part 5: Handles, auctions, and progress

04-10-2012 11:38 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Well folks a little more progress slowly coming into form on the maple handle design. Once more continuing to go about my shop efforts in a relaxed yet challenging pace. Shorter creative bursts giving forth an hour here or even a half hour there. I seem to leave the shop more satisfied knowing a more quality effort is being put into it all. The learning is actually becoming more than the old 3 hours straight and making various things with a mind almost in total fast forward mode with tools...

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Part 6: Handle finale!

04-18-2012 11:16 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

Hey gang hope this week is treating you well so far,,,hey you usually know by Wednesday….lol Finally got some more time out in the shop to learn more ins and outs of this handle build. As I finished this piece up I was happy that I went my own path….that I used a road less traveled in the design and approach to this project. Wether it is enjoyed by some or maybe even upsetting to some traditionalists or collectors….I think it’s great to stretch out the wings of p...

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Part 7: Hidden handtool treasures

04-29-2012 10:50 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

I hope this particular blog may reach a beginning woodworker no matter what age…..we can always learn something more as we go through life. I really find that to spread the word and share some of the found history of handtools and their various crafts they help perform is a truly worthwhile campaign. I also am thrilled to see many machine woodworkers becoming more interested in the artform of handwork, it’s wonderful to share each skill electric and unplugged and learn from one...

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Part 8: Creating a sawtill with what ya got! PART 1

05-02-2012 09:45 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

This series of Exercises in Artisanship is all about making the best with what you have. With a small budget and the challenges of some lower grade box store pine I hope you will join me for the twists…...the cups…..the thrills…..the curse words…..lmao. Somewhere Charles Neil is going…....told ya! No really friends all jokes aside….it’s sometimes fun to learn to make do with what we have and try to make lemons from lemonade. In this ...

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Part 9: Creating a saw till with what ya got! PART 2

05-05-2012 09:42 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

Hey friends, hope this weekend is being enjoyed by everyone. Moving on through this project with some learning and shavings I have another installment of where I am on the map with this saw till. I have watched and kept aware of this cheaper pines cupping and twisting as best as possible. I really wanted this thickness to remain on the boards so I sacrificed planing down in the various directions and trueing it down to smaller than desired width. I actually did at first give it a few sweep...

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Part 10: Creating a saw till with what ya got! PART 3

05-10-2012 10:27 PM by jjw5858 | 12 comments »

Hi friends here we are again back in the shop and making and marking up the next to do’s for this saw till project I have been working on. This project is just what is needed for my fast growing collection of handsaws as you will see… This is a piece that has brought some more expansion in the learning of joinery, and getting a chance to exercise some new lessons learned. Pic 1-2: I needed to make a pair 1×2 mortice’s on each side for my rail to joint into t...

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Part 11: Creating a saw till with what ya got! PART 4

05-15-2012 11:05 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

Good evening once more friends. Here is another installment of this saw till project build I have been having a fun time experimenting with. This till has been prepared for the task of holding my various saws for the last week or more….....but I wanted to take some additional time on this and try some creative ideas. I felt this was a nice opportunity to take aim at showcasing various skills and add them to this project to make it extra special as well as different from the rest. ...

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Part 12: Creating a saw till with what ya got! PART 5, THE FINALE!

05-17-2012 08:58 PM by jjw5858 | 1 comment »

Hello one and all of the woodworking world. Here is my final roundup of ideas, lessons and shavings so I can finally put some of my Disstons in a nice comfy home to showcase and enjoy. Pic 1: With my chip carvings added I used a counterbore bit I got from my tool chest auction find….awesome find check it out then preceeded to brace in the counter holes. Pic 2-3: To achieve the same drill holes for both sides I simply faced the pieces toget...

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Part 13: Old fashioned tool tote Part 1

05-24-2012 09:56 PM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

Well no rest for the wicked…..or wood obsessed…lol. My name is Joe and …....I have a shavings, saw, plane…..ahhhh you name it….it’s a great problem to have….right? Back at the shop and on the job of coming up with a project that I think will be fun to work with. I was thinking since I have been very fortunate to find all kinds of cool old handtools maybe I could build a project that might include some of the favorites that would make up ...

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Part 14: Old fashioned tool tote Part 2

05-31-2012 10:22 PM by jjw5858 | 4 comments »

Hey woodworking friends hope all is well. Took a small break from shop time and recharged the creative batteries this week. Good to be back and to revisit this tool tote project and thought a second blog installment was due to see what progress and ideas were in action. It was nice to get away from things for a small time and allow ideas to regain energy and fascination. I find this can be very helpful in any hobby, profession, or relationship in life…..just let things breathe a litt...

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Part 15: Old fashioned tool tote Part 3

06-05-2012 09:20 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

Hey friends, back from some sawdust and shavings with an updated installment of the tool tote build. Hope all is well out there in LJ’s land….it’s been a wild week from the get go over here on the farm for sure…..but had some time and pics from recent and last week as well to make an updated blog of the tote progress. I wanted to have a cool, unique and yet old school piece on this tote that had to follow the simple and humble parameters of…...duribilty, funct...

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Part 16: Old fashioned tool tote Part 4

06-07-2012 10:53 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

Well friends the day has finally arrived….where I am going to have a decent spot to either carry or hold my stanely chisels….lol. I have had these chisels on one table or another realizing that they needed a proper home in the shop. I thought since I was putting together this traveling tool tote of carpentry instruments….chisels would be well in order for many a task… I took a creative chance on making a space for them! Along with that I thought why not a hand...

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Part 17: Old fashioned tool tote Part 5 THE FINALE!!

06-13-2012 10:33 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Well I guess through learning and creating, sawing and shaving there were a few more hours to conjureup some additional ideas with my chisel box. Ahhh yes…a lid for the top perhaps??.....this would be a total ad lib affair with little more than just letting the inner kid out to explore and experiment. Every now and then that is such a vital important exercise to have in our woodwork… free of worries…the crayons going out of the lines are no artistic sin, only stressfu...

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Part 18: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 1

06-20-2012 10:49 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

Hello everyone, an extremely humid day today with around 82% humidity and 95 the high temp, but somehow the spirit of an evening of creating was to be had….lol. My shop has little more than a fan or heater….so this was going to get warm…lol This is a project that I have been wanting to do for a while now. I have always enjoyed the extreme creativity of the Rennaissance period and I thought it would be a real challenge and adventure to have a go at my version of a trestle ...

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Part 19: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 2

06-25-2012 11:09 PM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

Well here I am once more working on something that’s a first for me, seeing things as I go and gaining more experience with each shaving thick or thin. These exercises in artisanship have taught me a great amount of many do’s and some don’ts…lol For this project I wanted a piece that I could have in my living room that had a feeling of energy and a renaissance vibe to it. I have had the opportunity so far to laminate, cut and smooth out my first set of legs. This...

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Part 20: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 3

06-29-2012 08:20 PM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

Shavings, sawdust, chisels scattered about…and the joyful noise of the mallet sending the message from hands to tenon to mortice….this round of the build contained much learning and honest work. Looking back through these last 2 blogs…..I feel encouraged and seeing my skills grow, sure there are some mistakes but I really see the value my time has bought me with my with study and self challenge. I would say in review of the last two years playing with all of this woodshop...

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Part 21: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 4

07-11-2012 11:26 PM by jjw5858 | 12 comments »

Hey friends, back here in the Old Time Wood Shop with some more exercises…..or,.... trouble to get into… This time it was setting up a top for my Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table. After some mock ups of various boards to view thickness, width, etc. I finally decided to just give a go at working up a top with a thick piece of laminated construction pine. This would be all new territory for me….never did a table, never laminated together boards to make a top. Might as...

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Part 22: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 5

07-24-2012 08:00 PM by jjw5858 | 14 comments »

Sawdust, shavings, and a lot of water in these heat wave shop exercises has brought me to my newest updates on this Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table. This project has been a lot of fun and also filled with challenges along the way…..the biggest is the heat we have been enduring these past weeks….YIIIKES 100 degrees??......bring back the fall! So when I have been able to sneak out and get some more decent temperatures to work with I set about my task at adding side piece...

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Part 23: Rustic Renaissance Trestle Table: Part 6 THE FINAL

08-14-2012 07:28 PM by jjw5858 | 4 comments »

This table is special I suppose because it is my first. My shop being set in all natural conditions sure made this a spread out project, there were some truly brutal hot and humid days that let this sit and wait for a better time to work with it. I wanted a piece that had touches of rustic warmth supported with lines of a Renaissance rhythm. To stand back and see the entire composition in it’s thought out form, from some ragged sketches to this on my living room floor is a nice reward for ...

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Part 24: Practices in Spoonology: Part one

09-01-2012 10:10 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

Sometimes it’s true that less weight on a woodcraft project makes for more learning in our execution of total composition. I always try to experiment with various ideas, styles, and media wether it is seeking inspiration from an old pine tree or taking some good advice from a favorite musician. I suppose the next useful bit of food for thought is right on schedule since it involves the late great Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band who’s philosophy was that the attributes of great playin...

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Part 25: Practices in Spoonology: Part four

09-10-2012 10:32 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

So my business of country spoon sloyd craft carries on. Forgive me if my tales on this exploration have become boring, I realize there is not a lot of joinery going on. I am closing in as I enter the words here for session 4 of 5 of this spoon blog and have really made some nice strides. My greatest findings have been using the soil I live on to adventure more deeply into the woods and come out with new species I have never worked with before such as Hickory, Black Walnut, and Black Locust...

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Part 26: Practices in Spoonology: Part Five THE FINALE!

09-17-2012 09:25 PM by jjw5858 | 3 comments »

Well friends the journey of shaves, blisters and spoonery at this portion of the climb is bringing us to the top of one small hill with various mountains yet to adventure. This blog was a real joy to share, theres something really rewarding making wooden ware. Once you learn your way around the hatchet and train the mind to see shapes within the extended branches of any forest species, it is truly amazing to bring out something so small and delicate from a thick and sometimes brutal branch. ...

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Part 27: The spoon makers tote! PART ONE

09-25-2012 10:06 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

Well friends I thought it might be time to get to a new project and one that could be of great use since I have been at all of this spoon making business recently. I am a few weeks away from venturing into some pretty nice woods in upstate NY filled with Apple, Ash, Cherry, Maple, Oak and a whole lot of other really nice materials to seek out and possibly get to haul back to the shop and use for spoon works! I thought…hmmmm?, a nice tote would really help for the trip, something that...

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Part 28: The spoon makers tote! Part Two

09-27-2012 09:51 PM by jjw5858 | 8 comments »

Well I could say that my blog of this tote project would be fairly bogus if I was not up for sharing my trials and tribulations as well as the nice stuff…lol. My dovetailing experience on this job went very rhythmic. With my accuracy and approach I could see the improvements. My work needed some additional paring and cleanup as well as a few gaps always for inspiring more practice, but the entire program was highly enjoyable and really encouraging. Then… (you just know ...

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Part 29: The spoon makers tote! Part Three and final!

10-02-2012 11:15 PM by jjw5858 | 5 comments »

Hey friends, thanks for looking in again on what really is my final installment for this spoon makers tote! This piece went a little faster than I had originally thought it would go, but I had some time and inspiration so I went ahead with the flow of the tools. This is going to be much more of a practical piece to enjoy using, packaging some small tools, woods and spoons around. I left some tool marks with a fun and spirited opinion of wanting this work to look used and lived in. For me i...

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Part 30: The Woodrights Galoot library Part 1

10-18-2012 11:12 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

My beginning library of Woodright Shop DVD’s has grown rather quickly and an idea was sparked by the pile of 5 cases with the sixth soon on it’s way. I at first was excited to purchase some poplar for this project instead of the ole faithful pine…but todays prices jarred my wallet full of common sense…lol. If your not selling these projects friends this stuff can get costly so pine it is! So here is the fun idea for these next few installments of Exercises in Artisanship…...

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Part 31: The Woodrights Galoot library Part 2

10-25-2012 09:40 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

What, no spoons you might be thinking…lol. Well of course not for it is time to get grooving with our Woodrights Galoot Library! No matter what you do sometimes the wood has made up it’s mind on how well it will work for the job. In this episode the old box store pine was what I call a bit “Bitchey”,.....not sawing so well, and especially not up for me having an easy go of dadoing the inner sides. The tools were all plenty sharp but the wood was just a little tough and sappy this tim...

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Part 32: The Woodrights Galoot library Part 3

11-14-2012 07:16 PM by jjw5858 | 6 comments »

Hey everyone nice to get back into some cabinet work and leave the spoons and hatchet on the ole choppin’ stump this time! Between the hurricane hitting…then the snow storm post sandy, my bench and pine planks got a bit ignored. This project is more based around something fun and really useful as well as getting more exercise with hand chisels in regarding chamfering edges. Basically I have found that if you can go to a work bench and hand chamfer with skill using a chisel then it...

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Part 33: Exercises in Artisanship #32: The Woodrights Galoot library Part 4

11-19-2012 11:06 PM by jjw5858 | 7 comments »

The temperatures here are starting to show us some fall weather finally. Things in the air seem somewhat regulated which I prefer for working in my unheated shop. A steady 45-55 degrees makes me enjoy the heavier work more wether it’s sawing some big cherry pieces or hewing down stock for future wooden ware. I enjoy some of those certain days when the sun stays in more than not, it sort of provides me the feeling of wearing my favorite flannel shirt and heading off into that zone so many o...

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Part 34: Handcrafted Country Carvers Throne PT 1

01-22-2013 12:01 AM by jjw5858 | 9 comments »

Time to travel some different roads this journey and see what becomes of my new project…...The handcrafted country carving throne (AKA milking stool)....lmao! I do try to add entertainment value to these whacky ideas of mine… please work with my insanity folks….lol. I was tossing around various ideas and as the game sometimes goes I just could not get a design topic that made me start to have that creative spark. Then… natural I thought, I could use a little...

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