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There is a lot of potential in the ole wood rack at Lincoln Knobs.  We have reclaimed this oak, poplar, and chestnut from a 100+ year old farmhouse.  Project one…build a base cabinet with butcher block top extension for the vintage cast iron Crane sink.  

Building Update

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We are finished with construction of the new shop at Lincoln Knobs Woodworking.  My wife and I are proud of the fact we drove every nail, sawed every board, ran every wire, and know this building inch by inch.  Our electrical inspection took place two weeks ago and went off without a  hitch; two days later we had power!  We finished running the wood stove flu a couple days after that.  I must say, cutting a 10″ hole in a brand new metal roof is a little unnerving.  It went well and the next day was put to the test with an inch of rain and strong winds…no failure!

It is my intent to share some of the details of the construction, materials used, and philosophy behind some of our decisions over the next few weeks.  These posts may be hit or miss but I plan to post every other day for a while.  

Also, the next project consists of us building our log home about 100 yards behind this shop using trees from our own property.  Again, my wife and I will be doing all of the work.  I hope to document this process much more fully than I did the shop building process.  If you have ever been interested in log construction, stay tuned!!

Joseph Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises”

I ran across a website earlier today doing some research on the great woodworker Joseph Moxon.  Moxon has garnered renewed fame as of late due to Chris Schwarz’s work with the Moxon Vise and associated publications.  If you haven’t been subjected to the Moxon craze do a quick Google search and you’ll be pleased; it is really good stuff and the vise is supremely useful for hand-cut joinery.  

In the 17th century, Moxon penned and published a work titled, Mechanick Exercises: or the Doctrine of Handy-Works.  This work is now public domain, has been duplicated by the University of Michigan (GO BLUE!), and posted online.  You can download a full, free PDF of the entire publication.  It is great reading from a legendary woodworker.

Just click the below photo of the title sheet to be magically transported to the site, you’ll find the full download link in the left-hand pane from there.


Lincoln Knobs Roof

An update and few photos of the roof framing.

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Putting up the ceiling joists.  We used 2×8 joists 24″ OC.  Rather than shelling out and having delivered 20′ long boards I scabbed 2-10′ boards together with a 3′ piece.  Since these won’t support much vertical force, this works fine.

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All joists are up, braced with 2-2x4s running lengthwise, and ready for rafters.  I chose stick-built roof framing over pre-fab joists because I wanted to do everything by hand; and I have a thing for geometry (engineer in me again) and wanted to figure the lengths of everything.

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Underway!  First set of rafters and first half of the ridge beam is set.  

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Halfway there.  So far everything has laid in place nicely.

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Nailing in the rafters to the ceiling joists and top plate.

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I did a 12″ overhang on all four sides.  This’ll give a nice dimensional look and better protection.  Notice we have also sprayed the floor with weatherproofing. 

Also, roofing purlins are on and ready for the metal roof.

Done for the day.  

Pro tip: There are a ton of online calculators to determine rafter length.  Also, on the side of a framing square are rafter tables.  But, you can also figure this in your head or on paper with the Pythagorean theorem (A squared + B squared = C squared).  Keep in mine your additional overhang when figuring rafter lengths. 


The Great Frame Up

Here are a few photos of the wall and roof framing.  My wife and I did all of this in a weekend and it turned out great.  We used local Poplar from the local sawmill for the walls and resorted to the local lumberyard for the roof framing (SPF).  

You’ll notice a few design differences in the wall, compared to standard framing,  due to this being a board and batten sided building.  The most noticeable is the spacing on the vertical members and the addition of horizontal members which will serve as nailers/supports for the BnB.   We also used a few 4×4 posts in lieu of 2x4s in the walls just for extra structural  integrity.  Where we had a 6×6 in the foundation we placed a 4×4 in the wall above it in order to help transfer the weight more evenly.  This is my engineering side coming out.  

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Long walls framed up and ready to stand.  These are 24 foot walls and the two of us lifted them into place fairly easily in 12 foot sections.  

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Back wall raised and nailed down.  As MaryAnn (my wife) held the wall vertical, I verified the wall was on the chalk line then nailed the bottom plate down.  Once the bottom plate was secure we checked plumb and nailed in the temporary diagonal bracing to hold it in place.  You can see the window opening framed here.  

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Second half of the back wall nailed in plumb and square.  The large framed opening is for a five foot wide doorway.   

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Sawing and framing the end walls.  There are no openings in these two walls so it is a straight forward frame up.  The gable ends also have less force on them than the long walls.  We still chose to place a 4×4 in the center over the 6×6 used in the foundation.

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Pneumatic nailers make life much easier.

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However, like man’s best friend, a trusty hammer can never fully be replaced.


The sun has set on this day of wall framing and raising.  It is a satisfying accomplishment to come this far in such a handwork project.  

Pro tip:  Before attempting to raise a wall, toenail a couple of 8d or 10d nails through the bottom plate into the floor.  This will aid in holding the bottom of the wall in place, at the chalk line, and the nails will pull out as you raise the wall.  

Bonus tip:  Here is a drawing I did in AutoCAD (of our back wall) to illustrate the basic wall framing members.  I hope this helps. 

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Stanley 246


I finally picked up a Stanley 246 miter box at a steal of a price.  I have been looking for one of these for quite some time to use when I’m working strictly with hand tools or when I need something with extreme precision.  The 246 is coveted by hand tool woodworkers because of it’s accuracy, durability, and smooth action.  I am somewhat torn between “restoring” this tool or leaving as is and just tuning it and using it.  I really like the patina it has accumulated over the years so for now I may just leave it.  

Pro tip: If you are going to use any type of hand saw for woodworking, learn how to sharpen a hand saw.  A sharp saw is a must for quality work and will make the task pleasurable rather than deplorable.  

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Everything on the miter box is beautiful and functional.

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Quality parts come together to make a quality tool.

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A view from the underside.  I can barely wait to use this in the Lincoln Knobs Shop.

Stay tuned for updates on the miter box, putting it to use, and how to sharpen and set saw teeth.

New Shop Update

Well, it has been a busy few weeks here at Lincoln Knobs Woodworking.  The shop is just about ready to be under roof (we will do that this weekend) but to catch you up here are a few photos.


Half of the floor joists are down.  We went with 2×8 SPF to span the 10′ distance, times two for 20′ total.


In my opinion the Dewalt Miter Saw is one of the best power tools on the market.


Perfectly level, just what we were looking for.


All joists down and ready for some subfloor.


We chose OSB for the subfloor.


All subfloor nailed down and ready for the oak floor. It is very important that you have maintained everything square.  If you are out just a little it’ll probably be ok but more than a little will give you headaches as you progress.


We used 1×6 oak fence plank boards planed down for the flooring.  It has a beautiful texture and grain.  It isn’t perfect, so if you are looking for that Frank Lloyd Wright perfection, choose another option.


When the poly is applied the character will really pop in this flooring.

So, we have gotten more than this done at this point but I’ll leave it here for now.  Look for walls and roof framing next.  It has been quite a blast building this shop with my wife.  We work together great and she never quits.

Pro tip:  Take your time.  Building something like this doesn’t happen overnight, or even over a weekend.  It’s best to go slow and get it right than fast and end up with slop.  I plan for this building to stand long after I am gone.

Industrial Stool Design


I am brainstorming a new tripod stool design.  I am really liking the idea of something industrial looking with a concrete and wood style. I am considering using some sort of hex head screw in lieu of the pegs at the mortise and tenon.  I think these would accent the industrial look and bring out the bolt heads underneath the concrete seat.  

Posts and Beams

We were able to set the posts and beams over the weekend on the new shop.  This wasn’t a very daunting task but highly important to get level, plumb, and square.  The foundation is where it all starts and if you have miscalculations here they will become increasingly evident as work progresses.  We used several methods to check ourselves; water level, board and 4′ level, plumb bob, measuring diagonals, and string line.  It took some manipulation but we ended up true.

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First two short posts in and first beam set.  The back of the building has the highest ground elevation thus the shortest posts.  This is where it all begins.  (notice we are using a generator for temporary power.)

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All posts and beams for the back of the shop are set.  You can see the 4′ level which thankfully was good to go.

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Middle set of posts and beams started.  Things were a little more difficult to get aligned here but it worked out.

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One of my favorite tools, the Dewalt Sliding Compound Miter Saw.  We are also using a 1/2″ drill to power through the treated 6x6s with a 5/8″ woodboring bit.  The plastic Stanley sawhorses…junk.  We will be replacing them this week.

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All posts and beams have been set and the work site cleaned up.  

Pro tip:  A clean job site is a safe job site.  Always clean up as you go and at the end of each work day.

All in all it took myself and my wife about 5 hours to complete the entire post/beam construction.  This coming weekend we will frame up the floor joists.