This week's column: #777
| May 10, 2013 #776
| April 26, 2013 #775
| April 5, 2013 #774
| March 28,2013 #773
| March 9, 2013 #772
| February 22, 2013 #771
| February 8, 2013 #770
| January 25, 2013 #769
| January 11, 2013 #768
| December 21, 2012 #767
| December 7, 2012 #766
| November 23, 2012 #765
| November 9, 2012 #764
| October 26, 2012 #762
| October 12, 2012 #761
| September 28, 2012 #760
| September 13, 2012 #759
| August 31, 2012 #758
| August 10, 2012 #757
| July 20, 2012 #756
| July 6, 2012 #755
| June 22, 2012 #754
| June 8, 2012 #753
| May 25, 2012 #752
| May 11, 2012 #751
| April 28, 2012 #750
| April 14, 2012 #749
| March 30, 2012 #748
| March 16, 2012 #747
| March 2, 2012 #746
| February 17, 2012 #745
| February 3, 2012 #744
| January 20, 2012 #743
| January 6, 2012 #742
| December 23, 2011 #741
| December 9, 2011 #740
| November 25, 2011 #739
| November 11, 2011 #738
| October 28, 2011 #737
| October 14, 2011 #736
| September 30, 2011 #735
| September 16, 2011 #734
| August 12, 2011 #733
| July 29, 2011 #732
| July 15, 2011 #731
| July 1, 2011 #730
| June 17, 2011 #729
| June 3, 2011 #728
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CANADA on our 144th.
We Are On A Mission
you have wandered through furniture showrooms recently you will no doubt notice
the definite trend in the revival of so-called “Mission” furniture. This
somewhat unadorned furniture style dates way back and is now once again
considered ‘hot’. Antique dealers are scrambling to get their hands on original
pieces and these are getting top dollar at auction sales. Furniture manufacturers
are making reproductions by the truckload.
one quite knows why this trend for Mission (sometimes called Craftsman but in no way connected to Sears) furniture started, but perhaps it is because of the
restrained and tailored look of the various pieces. It might also be because of
the very ‘heft’ of them as generally, only solid oak is used. This style of
furniture is built to last through generations.
term “Mission Furniture” is a later term of a furniture style called “Arts and
Crafts” originally designed by William Morris in England. The term Craftsman
furniture later evolved in California and as the style gained even more
popularity the style became known as Stickley and later Greene and Greene. The
Stickley brothers were among the first to mass produce the furniture style and
later, Greene and Greene became popular makers as well.
Origin of Mission
are two theories here; one is that the Mission style of furniture dates back to
the mid 19th century when designers in England were feeling the backlash of the
Industrial Revolution. The factory production of products made many items
available to a broader segment of the population. However, along with this
progress came a series of social problems that included pollution, exploitation
of workers and moral decay.
assembly line of furniture making created a situation where craftspeople could
no longer practice their trade with the same pride and rewards as before. They
ended up making cheap parts that were being incorporated into inferior finished
second is suggested by Wikipedia: Mission furniture
is a style of furniture that originated in the late 19th Century. It traces its
origins to a chair made by A.J. Forbes around 1894 for San Francisco's
Swedenborgian Church. The term mission furniture was first popularized by
Joseph P. McHugh of New York, a furniture manufacturer and retailer who copied
these chairs and offered a line of stylistically related furnishings by 1898.
The word mission references the Spanish Missions throughout colonial
California though the design of most Mission Style furniture owed little to the
original furnishings of these missions. The style became increasingly popular
following the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo New York in 1901. The style
was popularly associated with the American Arts and Crafts movement. And,
this brings us full circle back to the first theory.
Morris, an architect, was one of the leaders of these English craftspeople and
they began to espouse a return to a more virtuous life for the working class.
Craftsmanship was one of the key elements in this moral revolution and this was
particularly true in the area of home furnishings.
became the central design figure in the marriage of quality and simplicity in
this, the English Arts and Crafts movement. Morris designed and marketed
furniture, pottery, textiles, wallpaper and decorative glass. His designs
featured strong, clean lines and the use of natural materials like oak (quarter
sawn oak to emphasize the wood rays), brass, leather and wool and were devoid
of what he considered ‘gaudy ornamentation’.
Arts and Crafts movement traveled to North America and was well accepted. Many
of the influential US furniture designers recognized the beauty, simplicity and
honesty of this design style and incorporated it into their philosophy. They
started producing household goods that shared it.
leaders of the North American movement were Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters,
Charles and Henry Greene and Gustav and J.G. Stickley. It is Gustav Stickley
that most people now associate the Mission style of furniture with. Gustav was
able to successfully combine the talents of both the craftsman and the machine
to efficiently produce their products with honesty and integrity.
term “Mission” came a little later. Other manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon
and slightly varied the Stickley designs and also copied similar products that
were homemade and found in the missions of Southern California.
Stickley specifically targeted his market and made it so that it was affordable
for the typical working people. His line of home furnishings was marketed under
the Craftsman label, but as time went on the term “Mission” has been attributed
him. Mission is now the widely accepted label for this style of furniture.
woodshow some time ago, I was demonstrating the simplicity of making raised
panel doors and one of the most often asked questions was, “how do I re-sharpen
these router bits”? I thought that you might be interested in hearing my
either carbide tipped or high speed steel router bits can be sharpened right in
your own shop and it can be quite simple to do. The only area that will
need re-sharpening on any router bit is on the flat. Never attempt to hone the
pattern. In the case of carbide, a diamond hone is the only one that will do
the job properly and these are available at Lee Valley Tools. They are priced
from $13.95 up to $99.95, depending on the grit number and the size of the hone
type drill bits are sharpened much the same way, that is to say, on the flat
side only. These, because they are mostly made in high speed steel, are
sharpened with oil or water stones.
both cases, it is generally not necessary to use a coarse grit to start the
honing process. A medium or even fine should do it with the final honing done
with a very fine stone. Carbide tipped Forstner bits are sharpened in the same
way but with a diamond hone.
you feel that you want to do your own sharpening then I suggest you buy and
read a book by the expert in this field, Leonard Lee, owner of Lee valley Tools
and of course, this in itself tells you where you can buy his book.
says “Forstner bits, named after their inventor, Benjamin
Forstner, bore precise, flat-bottomed holes in wood, in any orientation
with respect to the wood grain. They can cut on the edge of a block of wood,
and can cut overlapping holes. Because of the flat bottom to the hole, they are
useful for drilling through veneer already glued to add an inlay. They require
great force to push them into the material, so are normally used in drill
presses or lathes rather than in portable drills. Unlike most other types of
drills, they are not practical to use as hand tools.”
Forstner drill bit is a great tool to have for a number of reasons. The
Forstner will drill (when sharp) a really clean hole in or through both hard
and soft woods. They are great for drilling round mortises because the wall of
the holes are cleanly cut and the Forstner bit leaves a perfectly flat bottom.
But, they are
expensive and it’s the old story, you get what you pay for. Most woodworkers
that I know have saved for some time so that they can afford a good set of say,
seven bits, in commonly used sizes. Although it is nice to have a complete setlike
that pictured here, buying them by the set is not necessary. They can be
purchased individually and that certainly means a smaller initial outlay.
This just in……
We are more than
pleased to tell you that Paul Fulcher, friend, entrepreneur and publisher of
Canadian Woodworking & Home Improvement magazine has purchased the Ottawa
Wood Show. As Paul recently announced; “I
am thrilled to announce that we have purchased the Ottawa Woodworking Show, and
that the October show is full speed ahead!
Prior to publishing Canadian Woodworking Magazine, I had started and ran the
Brantford Woodshow for ten years - so I am really excited to get back into the
What will this change
“First off, we have a lot of plans, but for now we are going to concentrate on
increasing the educational element of the show, and bringing in more qualified
Also, I will be meeting with each and every exhibitor at the show to discuss
what they would like to see at, and how they would like to be involved in
future shows. I will also be popping into the seminar areas to poll attendees
as to their hopes for the wood shows of the future.
For now, until after the show, the Ottawa show's website will be hosted at WOODSHOWS.COM
We will have a new site up shortly after the show.
To Ottawa exhibitors - I look forward to working with you.
To Ottawa attendees - I look forward to working for you.
Any and all feedback regarding the upcoming Ottawa Woodworking Show is
welcomed. Please email me directly.
Our Sometimes Regular
We have a double
header for you this time around. A new book for the scroll saw fans and a book
on remodeling but with a twist. For those of us that believe that any little
thing we can do to help our planet the book is about doing it green.
Fox Chapel Publishing
Okay you scroll sawyers,
here is a book of 40 beautiful and original pieces of art that are to die for.
Ganief is a very talented scroll saw artist that can bring the absolute best
out of a piece of scrap wood or even plywood. The author is certainly
influenced by oriental tradition as most of the patterns show the delicacy from
The book is beautifully
photographed and every piece has step-by-step illustrations. The instructions
are clear and uncomplicated and the patterns are easily photocopied. Everything
from a beautiful pendant and belt buckle to a key cabinet to an orchid accent
lamp are featured and the author makes it easy for you to duplicate. A lovely
book with beautiful work!
The Taunton Press
No longer just a “catch
phrase”, green is now a fact of life. We, the general population of North
America and most of Europe have finally realized that our world cannot sustain
Author Katz shows us how to
go green in many ways in this book. From the basics like simply adding more
insulation in our homes to reducing job site waste the writer delves into just
about every phase of green construction. The question of re-building or
re-modeling is always a conundrum for those that want to keep things green.
Katz can help! Throughout this book he weighs the pros and cons of both but
inevitably the re-modeling wins out. Katz shows you how. The three fundamentals
of green remodeling: energy efficiency, resource conservation and healthy
living environments are the credo in this book
It Takes Skil
The latest entry into
the ‘multi tool’ segment is the new Skil Multi-Tasker and it enters with a
bang. The new 1400-02 oscillates at 12,000 to 22,000 OPM’s and does so with a
minimum of vibration being transferred into the user’s hands.
The new Multi-Tasker
has an integrated dust port with an adapter for most shop vacuums and that is a
very big plus in my book. There is rubber overmold where it counts and a
convenient on/off slide switch mounted on top of the tool.
Although it takes an
Allen wrench to change the attachments, Skil has thoughtfully wrapped it on the
power cord so you won’t lose it. Skil includes a universal adapter so that
almost all blades, sanding pads and scrapers will fit this tool.
I put the
Multi-Tasker to work when I added an extension to my shed. I had overcut the ¼”
plywood floor covering and could not even get a reciprocal saw into the space.
It was the very compact Multi-Tasker that saved the day.
comes in a soft nylon kit bag and Skil includes a bag of goodies that contains
a hook& loop sanding pad, three sanding discs, a segmented wood/drywall saw
blade, a 2 ½” wood saw blade a 1 ⅛” Metal cutting blade and the universal
adapter. A great tool and a great buy.
Although it looks
like spell check missed a word, Bosch spells their new and innovative storage
bins that way. Actually they are called L-Boxxes! There are four of them, all
different sizes and they are named L-Boxx 1, L-Boxx 2, L-Boxx 3 and L-Boxx 4.
Boxx 1 and 2 are
compact boxes and all four are made of a water and weather resistant plastic
and have been proven to be pretty much shock proof. The boxes are 17 ½” long x
14” wide. Box 1 is 4 ½” high, Boxx 2 is 6” high, Boxx 3 is 10” high and Boxx 4
is 15” high. All of the boxes interlock with each other; have handles either on
top front or both and each of them may be secured with a padlock.
Boxx 1 and 2 have
packing foam (pre-cut) in them to pad any delicate instruments while boxes 3
& 4 are empty and ready to hold all manner of tools and paraphernalia. Of
course when they are full and stacked together they would have a fair amount of
heft to them so it would be best to carry them one at a time. Wheels would be a
nice accessory. The Bosch L-Boxxes can be a great addition to your
shop or tool shed. They work well for us. I used a commercial labeler to list
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