Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A small barn for the summer house 8, windows

Last time I was home I managed to make the window frames for the total five windows that I planned for.
The three larger windows will be at the ground floor, and the two smaller windows will be for the attic. One in each gable.

For once this was a project that could benefit from my shaper. That thing is a beast when it comes to making large rabbets and long pieces of mouldings.
Traditionally frames are made with mouldings on the stiles and none on the rails. But I wanted to have mouldings all the way around.
I dovetailed the frames together, and in order for the moulding to flow around the corner I used a mitered dovetail for the outermost part of the frame.
The technique isn't terribly hard to learn or do, so it went together fairly well. My biggest challenges were that the stock was thick, but a bit of concentration during sawing helps a lot.

During the last couple of days I have been trying to make the window casements. There will be a total of 8 casements, so in order to make some progress, I am making it mainly as a power tool build.

The stock for the window casements are larch that I milled two years ago. It was originally intended to become a fence around the porch, but in the end we decided that a fence wasn't needed, so I could use them for this project instead.
I again used the shaper for making the rabbets and the mouldings. And this time I have tried to use it for making the bridle joints as well.
There is a special iron that is suitable for making tenons and the open mortises for the bridle joints. I have never used it before, because quite frankly it scares me a bit. The combination of the shaper and that blade is something that will eat a hand or an arm in an instant.
It is a interesting to note that when I have to make multiples, the machines are really fast despite the setting up can be a bit time consuming. A thing that is also interesting to note is the sometimes terrible amount of tear out left behind.
To be fair I think most of it can be traced to the wood. Larch is rather stiff, but it tears out easily.

The first window casement was assembled by means of drawbored dowels. The next one was just pegged after the glue had set. That route allowed me to put a clamp on the bridle joint which I think results in a better joint overall.
A project like this that requires a lot of pegs/dowels, is just what I have been longing for, because it gives me an opportunity to use my BLUM dowel plates. They are nothing short of impressive.

Mitered dovetail joint on window frame.
The spindle shaper with the scary Z blade.

Frames for the large windows.
Blum dowel plate.


  1. Looking good Jonas! How do you like the dowel plate? I thought about purchasing one a few months ago but didn't do it. But it seems like a handy tool to have around.

    1. Thanks Bill

      I really like the dowel plate.
      Previously whenever I had to make one, I had to find some piece of flat bar and drill a hole etc. This one has got holes that are slightly tapered outwards, so it is sharp at the top, and the dowels exit easily.
      It like to use pegs or dowels, and having the tool makes sure that there is not excuse for not doing it.
      Off course you can find a nice piece of flat bar and drill a set of holes, but this tool looks good at the same time, and the tapered holes are difficult to make yourself unless you have a tapered drill or something along those lines.
      The tool doesn't take up much space, and doesn't require sharpening, and that is a rare type of tool :-)

  2. Cool! I've always been interested in a shaper, but like all my fingers better.

    You should post a picture that shows the scale of the dowel plate. The Lie-Nielsen dowel plate looks silly next to yours.

    1. Hi Brian
      I think it is safe to say that the shaper is the most dangerous tool in my shop.
      Having all your fingers intact is nice, and is probably a good reason to not invest in a shaper.

      Good idea to post a scale object next to the dowel plate. That thing is massive.


  3. Wicked looking shaper! What make is it?
    Where did you buy the Blum plate at? I googled it but nothing came up.

    1. Hi Stephen

      I can't find the manufacturers name cast into the shaper, but I am fairly sure that it is a "Junget" They were a Danish manufacturer that produced all different types of machines.
      My band saw and my jointer/thickness planer are also from that company.
      Based on the electro motor on the shaper, I think it is from the 1950'ies or 1960'ies.

      I was given the dowel plate from an Austrian friend.
      Here are the pictures of the other two plates in the series.
      They were manufactured as an experimental run by the tool maker department at Blum.
      I don't think they are planning on putting them into production, but it couldn't hurt to send them an email and ask.

      Thanks for commenting

  4. Love the mitered DT's. I've been thinking about the mitered dovetails lately - something I'd like to try this year.

    That shaper looks really scary. I saw the picture before reading the post and my thoughts immediately went to how you could safely use that thing!

    1. Hi Matt

      The mitered dovetails are hard to mess up, I just saw on the safe side of the miter. Upon pressing the joint together, the miter will touch first. Then I just saw right down the kerf and press it together again. If I have been sloppy with the first part of the sawing, it might take a couple of "kerf sawings" to get a nice fit.

      I have been injured once on the shaper. Working on end grain is the most dangerous thing you can do with it. The mortising sleigh (directly translated from Danish) helps to make those operations safer. But still it isn't a thing I like to use when the kids are in the shop.
      Perhaps one of the dangers of the machine is that I use it infrequently, so I never get a lot of experience with it.


  5. Jonas,

    Everything is impressive, the window frames, the dowel plate, and that shaper is a beast. I would be afraid to walk into the shop even when it wasn't running :-). Good on you, really nice work.


    1. Hi Ken
      Thanks for the nice comment.
      The project is seeing some real progress at the moment, and so far it seems to go along as it should.
      When the Z blade is attached on the shaft of the shaper, it makes a sound like an airplane propeller just before take off. Sort of a humming note with a lot of power to back it up.

  6. That Blum plate is nothing short of impressive! A real beefy plate, I love it. I too googled it and could not found much on it, so I guess like you said it never went into production, shame really, not at this thickness i sure would be expensive... but im sure worth it...

    Agreed shapers are oner of the most dangerous tools in a poer tool shop, at our club we strictly used it with router bits, NO shaper cutters allowed. Save on the paper work and clean up after accidents :-)

    Bob, about to take Rudy out for a walk

    1. Hi Bob

      Alex from Austria who participated in the DCBE gave me a set of 3 plates, they range in hole size from 3 mm to 20 mm, with increments of 1 mm.
      Using those plates is really nice since they are so thick. There is absolutely no springy feeling in that metal plate.

      Keeping accidents away from the shop is a very clever idea, so I can understand that decision on how to use your shaper.

      Jonas (with a wet and muddy 25 kg puppy sleeping in the washing room)