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May 16 2015

The Hollows and Rounds Dilemma

You’re almost there. You scrimped, saved and waited for a half set of Hollows and Rounds custom made for you that cost over $3500.00.

Or maybe you hunted eBay, outbidding massive competition and sluthed many tool dealers for your set and it took you months, maybe years to find them all.

You have your sharpening gear, and you have honed all the blades to perfection. You have tuned the plane bodies and wedges and set the irons in the plane bodies perfectly.

You have the book for how to make the moldings. You have your books on molding shapes and designs. You made a sticking board so you can fixture your work and plane your own moldings. You have all this on the awesome bench you made for your shop.

You select a gorgeous stick to cut the moldings from, rich with all the color and figure.

You work at it all with great care, and your molding is shaped to perfection. Everything is almost perfect.

Almost.

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May 08 2015

Lutherie Shooting Boards

Published by under Hand Tools,Jigs,Shooting boards

Recently we’ve had some inquiries about shooting boards for use with lutherie, and so I thought I’d take a few minutes and talk about this, and shooting long work. The short answer is, Yes, we can help with Lutherie!

Long Grain Shooter

We offer shooting boards for lutherie and long grain jointing work called the Long Grain Shooter. It has the capacity to shoot lengths to 24-26 inches depending on how much care you want to take to accomplish it. We offer this board in single chute only and you can order it for Right or Left Handed use as per your preference.

It’s a versatile tool! Read on!

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Apr 30 2015

Tools for Creativity, Productivity, Art, and Fun

Some of the fun of being a toolmaker, is getting to be a woodworking evangelist. Talking with woodworkers and listening to what they hope to do in woodworking. Stories of wishing it were easier to make something, but oh for the lack of this tool or that. I understand. I always enjoy hearing from clients who have had their tooling we custom made for them awhile and to hear how it has made the different things they wanted to make possible, and easier.

Some of the things that have been shared with me are interesting. Epiphany level stuff a lot of the time. On the shooting board equation I recall things like; “I have thousands invested in hand planes, but I am also expecting high accuracy from a quickly made jig from scraps. I’m finding that doesn’t work a lot of the time.” “I’m on my fourth shooting board now, and I am just tired of trying to get or keep accuracy.” “I want to make intricate things with small parts, but my machines seem too risky to use for that.” “I have so many ideas, but my tools don’t seem to be able to get me close enough to accomplish it.” Making a high accuracy shooting board is harder than it seems.”

On the topic of Sharpening, I’ve listened. I hear things like: “I know I should sharpen more often, but it’s a bother, and so messy.” I spend so much time having to maintain my water stones that I hate to use them”.”I just wait to sharpen until I can’t get my tools to work anymore, because working is way more fun.” “I have such a small shop, there’s just no room to sharpen and have it be easy.”

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Apr 23 2015

Imagine Woodworking – Easier

Woodworking is a field of endeavor filled with imagination. Wood has not stopped capturing our imagination for centuries.

Wood has been used to build bridges that carry trains and large wooden ships. We have shaped it into airplanes. It has been used for housing, barns, aircraft hangars, and other large buildings. We cut and shave it into veneers and small delicate pieces that form beautiful images, and screens. We dye it, stain it, paint it, weatherize it. We ask everything of wood from engineering to art, and it rarely disappoints.

Wood asks a few things of us in exchange for forming and shaping it as it yields to us and our requirements.

For best results, wood has taught us it’s best methods for working it through practice and observation. If we learn these ways, and pay attention to the details while we work things come together pretty nicely, most of the time.

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Apr 21 2015

Shooting Boards and thinking outside the box.

Woodworking is a lot of different things to many people. Collectively, we use woods in many artistic and engineered ways when we apply it to our projects and the things we make.

Want diversity from materials? Ok, we can use hardwoods, or softwoods, exotics or domestics. We can vary colors, shapes and textures, while building period furniture or puzzles, jewelry boxes or tool chests. We can veneer and make parquetry, we can make instruments, and kitchen gadgets. Curves and tangents in three dimensions. We may focus on some part of this or dabble in a lot of it from simple and necessary to extravagant and ornate.

Want more diversity? Ok. Woodworkers are also varied in their tastes, design eye, and their use of tools as well, and so what they shoot and shoot with on their shooting boards is as varied as they are. With so many materials and projects, we likely only describe the half of it.

Where many things come together in nearly any project, is where the need for base line precision has to be laid out of boards, and then the cuts that have to be worked to those lines. This can mean measuring with rulers or stepping out with dividers using ratios, but fitment is important, and line and angle accuracy can become important, because this is still geometric work and often in three dimensions. Layout from any inaccurate baseline can be a disaster. This is the essence of making anything, and the need for high precision for continued good fitment as you build depends on a lot of things, but the closer you take the work to fine, the greater becomes that need.

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Feb 05 2015

The Woodworking Accuracy Conundrum Part 1

There is a lot of information about wood movement on the information highway, and some of it has painted itself in a corner. That’s ok, We can help sort this out.

More often than I wish were true, I find myself reading generalizations about wood as a building material and woodworking methods that I wish were better understood, because they create incorrect impressions and misunderstandings. Some we may have seen are: “Wood moves, so being very accurate with it isn’t all that important”, “Wood has seasonal movement you know, so there is not too much concern for high accuracy”. “Just get it close” and “Wood moves, so you can’t really rely on it as an accurate or precision material”. Sound Familiar? It’s unfortunately not the best of advice.

There are many other statements often made along these lines, but they don’t even tell half the story. In fact, statements like these have influenced many who read them that wood is a terribly inaccurate material and is difficult to use for making fine things. Some go on to reiterate what they have heard: “Well you know, wood moves and so there is that accuracy issue”, or “Wood isn’t really a precision material”, without really understanding that this issue is really not nearly as big as they have been lead to believe. See, it looks a lot like what was said in the preceding paragraph, only paraphrased, and not at all any better understood. Understanding this is one of the most important things in woodworking. Sure, knowing how to use tools is great, but what good is that if we don’t understand the material the tools are used for?

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Jan 21 2015

Shooting Board Questions and Answers Volume One

I get questions about our shooting boards from time to time, so I thought I’d help out by sharing the Q&A stream with you.

Q: Why do we use shooting boards?

A: Shooting boards have been pretty common in woodworking for the last 200 years and were widely taught for use in Educational Sloyd. Shooting devices certainly predate 200 years ago, but were less common when furniture was less complex. They are tools that help reduce the workmanship of risk, reduce the complexity of difficult work such as specific needs for straightness and angles, and help enhance woodworker safety, particularly on small parts.

Making anything from wood means working to the lines and begins with layout lines on accurate boards. Lines are then sawn closely on the waste side and finished to the line, smooth with planes to remove the saw marks. When the need for a line is to fit parts precisely with other parts, that line is planed with a shooting board. The shooting board and a sharp plane can improve upon any sawn line whether it was cut by hand or machine, removing all the tearout and leaving a crisp edge and smooth surface. It also reduces risk to work the further a project progresses. Shooting boards offer a great deal of surety in the work.

Q: Why offer Shooting Boards as a tool, Don’t people make those from scraps around the shop?

A: A shooting board is a device that can offer accuracy to woodworkers that rivals machinist accuracy. This is really handy for fine work in woodworking. Historically, as the woodworker has acquired tooling of higher precision, the appearance of their work has reflected it. To make a tool capable of this precision with repeatability in accuracy and durability requires a specialized manufacturing process. The shooting board has to be more accurate than the things it will be used to make.

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Jan 16 2015

Evenfall Studios Toolmakers News

I have been considering an occasional column on our blog, just for sharing some various thoughts and news with you, so welcome to Volume One, 2015.

For small businesses, it is often challenging getting the word out. I want to touch on the scope of our blog. It wears several hats. We are a small family business, a one man custom tool making shop. I make precision tools for woodworkers and makers. Some of the ways we use the blog is to provide methods for working that have a lot of application on any project. We also use it to help teach and inform about our tools and methods that can help woodworking become easier and more accurate for you.

Getting the word out to woodworkers all over the world about what we do and what we may be able to help you do in making is a big part of our blog. I’m remiss about not blogging more often and I do try, but it happens. Client work in the shop and the matters of life are something we all can understand in our own way. We appreciate all our subscribers and readers. Our blog is aggregated by Leif at the Norse Woodsmith Aggregator and has been for years. Recently our blog has been aggregated by Siavosh over at woodspotting.com, which is a new form of Aggregator that is growing fast and allows people to submit blogs to it. We really appreciate both of them for their their support in helping us network and get the word out. If you enjoy our blog or use it as a reference, please feel free to bookmark, subscribe directly via RSS or email as well. This helps us stay in touch and we appreciate your support.

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Dec 28 2014

Helping You Saw Better

Helping You Saw Better

Like anything, there are many approches to any woodworking situation. Sometimes there are solutions in search of a problem, and we can fill our benches and storage with gizmo’s like that, or we can seek out tools that bring a lot of utility for the space they take.

Guided Sawing

I have heard from many woodworkers over the years, and many tell me that they like the tools that allow them to go to work as directly as possible on the task they want to accomplish, without a lot of fooling around. Most all of the tools we offer are focused on helping woodworkers get as much accuracy and productivity as possible from the tools they already have, and can help you perform several tasks really well.

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Dec 23 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays 2014

It has been a busy 2014!

We released quite a few new Shooting Board versions and models, offering more options for hand planes that can run in an enclosed chute, (such as the Veritas LA Jack, Lie-Nielsen LN-9 and the 62 LA Jack of any make) as well as the accuracy, precision and flexibility for how you work. The good news here is that you may not need to own a “Shooting Board Plane” to enjoy the same experience of shooting with an enclosed plane chute! We have heard from many woodworkers that they enjoy having the flexibility to set their shooting boards with high accuracy, or off angle to compensate for any errors in the work. Our shooting boards allow you to do both. Do you need repeatable accuracy at any angle? We can help you with that!

We also released the MagStrop, our new magnetic, quick change sharpening stations that allow for fast dry sharpening of your tools quickly so you can keep woodworking. The feedback we are getting – that being able to sharpen quickly without disturbing the ongoing project is really nice, they fit in a small space and that sharpening with more ease is meaningful to sharpening more often. There is less need to rebuild edges from scratch and that is the kind of feedback we love to hear!

Another plus is that we finished researching and testing Hoses Wands and Attachments for Shop Vacuums of most any make so that we could bring you a line of the attachments and hoses that we use for our shop. These are not the hoses and attachments that are commonly marketed for use with shop vacuums. These are commercial grade cleaning tools that totally hot rod the shop vacuum’s capabilities, work very flexibly in the shop, play well with power tools and clean the shop better than anything else we’ve tried! We like them so well, we wanted to offer them to you! If you are tired of tree trunk hoses and end tools that excel at sucking themselves to the floor, then you’ll love these accessories when you upgrade!

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