Welcome to Issue #10 of
Wood Shop News

brought to you by: wooden box maker.com

sharpening woodworking tools

In this issue:

  • cutting mortises by hand
  • woodworking classes
  • new and for sale
  • in progress: kitchen "island"
  • on a personal note
  • final words

  • Cutting Mortises by Hand

    While power tools are no-doubt useful and necessary, there are times when hand tools can work as well or better. In this article I describe how to chop mortises for installing butt hinges.

    chopping mortises

    While I sometimes use a trim router with a straight bit for this task, cutting them by hand can be faster (as well as quieter). Also, the same skills can be applied to cutting deeper mortises. I think of hinges as practice.

    Click the link for the full article on cutting mortises by hand.

    Woodworking Classes

    (Located S/SW of Boston)

    Learn new skills or hone old ones in small group sessions tailored to the individual. woodworking classes Classes are limited to 3 people and take place in my shop outside Boston. They generally meet once a week for 2-3 hours. The sessions go on as long as students are interested, a few months or a few years.

    woodworking classes As students progress, class becomes "open shop" time when they work on the projects of their choice while I answer questions and give suggestions as things come up.

    Individual instruction is also available.

    Click on the links below or contact me for more information.
    woodworking classes
    student work

    New & For Sale

    Visit my sale page for new work and sale items.
    Or visit wooden box maker recommends for ideas on books and tools (category list top right of page).

    In Progress

    I'm presently working on a kitchen "island," a large, solid maple cabinet with six drawers and a 1 3/4 inch thick top. I'm using many different joinery techniques in the project, so I started by making myself 1/4 scale model to see how it all would go together. kitchen island

    After looking at the model I noted a few places where the joinery didn’t work right, so I made some changes and got to work. I used half blind dovetails to hold the top rails to the legs,

    woodworking joinery

    mortise and tenon to join the other rails to the legs, and half-lap joints for where the styles meet the rails.

    Because the cross pieces are in line with the styles and rails I had a spot where three pieces of wood intersected. For the joinery at this spot I used mortise and tenon for the horizontal cross pieces and half-lap for the style and rails. This gave me a mortise over the half-lap. woodworking joinery

    I cut the half-laps first, then mortised each piece separately, giving me a mortise in the center of the joint.

    Cutting the joinery was exacting, but not difficult. My main trouble was keeping track of what went where. I ended up doing many mortises by hand, at least in part, since the mortises often overlapped two different pieces. Still, it wasn't too bad.

    The glue-up, on the other hand, was ... exciting. I had to put the pieces together in the right order, since some of the joints locked other pieces in place.

    I ended up gluing up the front and the back first, leaving off the top rails - the dovetails locked things in place and didn't allow me to slide the sides .... Well, suffice it to say I did several dry runs before I found the best order for gluing. woodworking joinery

    The frame is now glued up (in photo all done except the back top rail and top cross piece). My next step is to add drawer runners, make drawers and put together the top. woodworking joinery

    Practically done.

    On a Personal Note

    Global warming and climate change: What’s the fuss about? After all, how warm can it be? Look at all the snow DC has gotten this winter.

    My point exactly, look at the snow in DC. global warming

    As anyone who has read this newsletter knows, I’m rather fond of this world and all it’s critters. global warmingBecause of that I take climate change very seriously. So this article is an overt attempt to influence you.

    I plan to use information as my tool of choice. Please read on....

    Before I begin I want to clarify some common confusion about the difference between weather and climate.

    Weather refers to local, short-term, fluctuations in temperature, moisture, atmospheric pressure, etc. Weather is what the meteorologists predict for the coming days.

    Climate is the overall weather trend over a period of years (decades to thousands of years). Climate is what the meteorologists and other scientists keeping track of global warming are watching.

    Weather normally fluctuates. It’s not unusual to break records from time to time. That means that you can’t point to any one weather event and say that’s proof that there is (or isn’t) global warming.

    However, if you look at the data for the past 100 years and see that overall the global average temperature has constantly gone up, regardless of occasional down years, then you have evidence of climate change. This is what has been happening.

    Around the world average temperate has been rising since the late 1880’s with most of that change happening in the last few decades.global warming

    No big deal, you might think. A few degrees warmer isn't such a big deal. Actually, it is a big deal.

    Let’s go back to the snow in DC. As I was researching this topic I came across an article in The Baltimore Sun on just this topic. The author Mike Tidwell writes:

    ”How could global warming be driving a pattern like this? One word: moisture. A warmer atmosphere holds more water. Plus, warmer surface temperatures are triggering more evaporation of ocean water worldwide. That water goes up, up, up into that atmosphere. And what goes up must sooner or later come down....

    And, yes, there is the usual caveat: No single storm episode can be blamed definitively on global warming. But the overall trend -- the shear freakiness of this winter weather -- fits the pattern scientists say will only intensify with more warming.”

    This is the problem we are facing. As the climate changes the effects will be insidious as well as "freaky". I should say are insidious, for global warming is already here and we are seeing it’s effects in the trend toward more extreme weather the world over. It’s not any single event, but the trend that is indicative of change.

    global warming

    The consequences of global warming will effect us all and are potentially catastrophic for some, especially for those in the poorer parts of the world. From health (diseases that are carried by mosquitos and other insects will increase as areas become warmer, leading to an increase in malaria, encephalitis, Lyme disease, etc.), to political upheaval (drought and flooding can lead to political and military struggles as people fight over land and other resources) to economics global warming(the DC storm cost the government (i.e. taxpayers) around $100,000,000 a day in lost productivity according to the Office of Personnel Management), global climate change has the potential to change life for us all.

    What can we do? Curl up in a ball and hope for the best? Tempting, but perhaps not so useful. How about the simple things? Turning down your heat and taking the bus or biking to work make a difference. Weatherproofing your home and cutting back on unnecessary stuff also helps. So does supporting groups that fight climate change. All those things help.

    You can also write to your local paper and call your senator and representative.global warming (It’s easy. They will have a website with contact info. When you call, someone from the office will answer and probably ask your name and maybe your town or county. Then you have your say. They will listen politely, say thanks, and that’s it.)

    I also think we need to talk about global warming and global climate change. As a world community we need to learn about the potential consequences. For instance, tons of greenhouse gases have been trapped in the Arctic ice since the last ice age. What will happen if that ice melts (as it is now) and releases all that gas into the atmosphere? These are things we need to know. We shouldn't be afraid of what scientists have to say. The longer we wait the harder (and more expensive) it's going to be to reverse the changes.

    Global warming is overwhelming, there is much to learn and it feels impossible to make any change. But, that's not true. Everything we do helps and if we all pitch in we can change our cultural attitudes so that saving energy and reducing consumption become the norm.

    A few small changes are nice, but if we are to prevent catastrophic climate change we need to act now. (Check out the link if you are interested in what I've done to try and be a green woodworker.)

    If this article inspires you to take an action (any action, changing your lightbulbs, wrapping your water heater, selling all your possessions and devoting your life to the cause) let me know and I’ll post it for others to read.

    Thanks everyone.

    global warming


    The Union of Concerned Scientists FAQ page. Lot’s of good info on this site.
    EPA on climate change: comprehensive list of facts and figures.

    Climate change fact sheet: nice summary, not sure who put it out.

    Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism. This site takes a look at the science behind the argument against global warming.

    Top 50 things to do to stop global warming.

    Final Words and Errata

    I hope you have enjoyed reading this ‘zine. Do you have ideas for future topics? Comments? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just hit reply and tell me what you think.

    If you know someone who might enjoy this newsletter, please feel free to send it on. If a friend passed this on to you and you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting my website.

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    Kate Taylor Creative Woodworking