Full Chisel Blog

May 29, 2013

My Dust Collection System

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Shop,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 10:18 am

It is 100% reliable, totally effective, environmentally responsible and cost less than $200.00.  The brooms were made by a friend and the tin dust pan made by another at Hot Dip Tin.

dust collector


May 28, 2013

Norton Soft Arkansas Sharpening Stone and…

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Sharpening,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:25 am

it came in a different box.  Going through some old watchmaking/clockmaking tools last week, I came across this box, saw the name Norton on the outside, then as I was about to open the box I saw that it was labeled ‘India combination stone’, it being man made I wasn’t interested but opened the box anyway.

soft arkansas

It did not look like any India stone I had ever seen, so I slipped it out of the box and to my surprise it was marked Soft Arkansas and is in near perfect condition, very flat on both sides.

Not ever judging a book by its cover, I am now going to look in all containers no matter what they are labeled.


May 15, 2013

Rocking Chair restoration

Filed under: Furniture,Historical Material,Of Interest,Restoration,Techniques,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 9:21 am

This will be the first in a series covering the restoration of this late 19th century rocking chair that belonged to my friends grandmother.  He remembers the chair as brown so we will be removing the white paint, repairing any broken parts and re-caning the seat and backs with factory woven cane.


The cane on the seat and lower back are secured by the standard spline, however the top back with its double curves is secured in a wooden framework, I have never seen this method of attaching cane in 40 years of doing repair work.


Here is a photograph of my ‘apprentice’ Woody working on removing the seat and spline.  Boiling water was used to soften the spline.  Today he will be learning how to strip off paint.  It is good to have someone interested in learning and he likes the work.


May 14, 2013

Double Hacksaw – 1749


I have posted about this hacksaw before during a workshop with the Nevada WoodChucks, and thought I would post the original influence.  Charles Plummier’s L’art de Tourner published in 1749, this is a photograph of an original edition in the collection of Ray Wilson of Indianapolis.  I shot the photograph in 1977.

double hacksaw

I have made and sold several of these including a couple of replacement arms, it is remarkably easy to break the end by overtightening the tension.  An iron version would not have this problem.  Very handy tool which I find I use on a regular basis.

I used the shape of the iron version on the upper left as I liked the looks of the arms, the wooden version is on the upper right.  Did you know the paint on hacksaw blades is actually a lubricant?



May 9, 2013

Scorching Sand

scorching sand

I am in need of some scorching sand for heat shading veneer and for hardening goose writing quills.  I got a couple of cups of sand from a friend, it was left over from an out door cook oven.  It is coarse construction sand and was in need of cleaning.

I first ran it through a coarse sieve [12 wires per inch], the stuff that didn’t make it through went into the garden.  I then ran  the sand through fine brass screen [20 wires per inch].  The stuff that didn’t make it through I separated out and saved it for future use, thinking I would still need to wash it when I was done.

Everything that fell through the fine brass wire screen contained all of the fines and dust, which I assumed I would have to wash it and dry it out.  As I was pouring the sand from one container to another the wind blew some of the fine dust away.  Now I was winnowing the sand and in about 15 minutes it was very clean.  I didn’t have to wash it after all.

The size of the sand really does not matter for scortching wood or hardening quills, but it is nice to have two different sizes of winnowed sand.



May 3, 2013

The Complete Cabinet Maker And Upholsterer’s Guide – J. Stokes 1829


Gary Roberts over at Toolemera has done it again and reproduced a fine tome from the nineteenth century.  The book has many full color plates, hand colored engravings and Mr. Roberts has reproduced the entire book in color, so the pages appear as they would in an original edition.

Mr. Stokes has done an excellent job at assembling material from his peers and predecessors, which I won’t call plagiarism as it was common practice.  Some of the engravings have the long f for the s, indicating an earlier time.

The book is however full of very useful information about lay out, perspective, drawing, design and construction of furniture, with an emphasis on finishing, which I found fascinating.  This is a great hardbound edition of an historical work that is a pleasure to hold in ones hand and read about the past and the ways of old.  Add this one to your bibliotheque.


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