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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator
This "aggregator" collects all of the woodworking blogs I read every day - or try to anyway! Enjoy!
Thank you to everyone who contributed towards Walt Quadrato's battle against cancer! Their fundraising goal was met. Our prayers are with you, Walt!
Sometimes life gives you the answer so clearly you’re too blind to see. Just a few days ago I read on the “Working by Hand” blog a post about removing tool japanning with Soy Gel. https://workingbyhand.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/plane-body-finish-removal-soy-gel/
Soy Gel is a 100% soybean based paint remover that has no toxic fumes and is really safe for the environment. I bought a bottle of it for my wife about a year ago so she could remove the paint off a piece of furniture she bought. I don’t repaint planes so I never gave much thought about using it to remove the black japanning from a plane. Well apparently according to the post, it does the job quite well.
So this weekend while I was busting my knuckles cleaning up the bed of an old Stanley Liberty Bell plane with steel wool, I opened up my cabinet to grab another piece of wool when my bottle of Soy Gel was staring at me right in the face. I looked at the bottle, then looked at the plane bed and thought “I wonder if it would help”?
I grabbed the bottle, squirted some on the bed, and spread it around with my steel wool pad and let it sit there for a bit. Sure enough after just a few seconds, the dirt and grime just melted away when I rubbed it off with the steel wool.
I was amazed it worked so well. Then I was angry at myself that I didn’t think of it any sooner. How could I be so blind? Here’s the before and after shot of the side of the plane.
All these years of busting my knuckles trying to clean up the wood from old planes with nothing but steel wool and a whole bunch of elbow grease, and I could have just been using Soy Gel the whole time to make the job a whole lot easier. Oh well, I learn something new everyday. Here is a couple of shots of the plane all cleaned up. I guess someone liked my cleaning job as the plane sold within a few hours of being listed on eBay.
Last week I finished writing my latest article for Popular Woodworking, titled, I think, “Decorative Wire Inlay.” Tomorrow morning I will finish the photography for it, then move on to the next projects in the shop, the list of which is formidable.
I demonstrated the techniques of decorative wire inlay in my presentation to the Washington Woodworker’s Guild last autumn.
The end. (quite a way to start a blog post, huh?)
On a piece of case furniture, some call it the side. I think of them as ends, as in “help me move this chest, grab the other end.”
I’m not one for measured drawings, but I am working some up for this chest project. Today I was laying out the end view of the chest we’ll build at the CT Valley School of Woodworking this season. http://www.schoolofwoodworking.com/woodworking-classes/29-speciality-weekend-classes/534-build-a-17th-century-joined-chest-with-peter-follansbee.html
In the class, we will delve deeply into the period chest we’re studying/copying, but will also look at numerous variations. These chests (Wethersfield/Windsor/Hartford area of CT) often have one large horizontal panel over 2 vertical panels. the upper panel is glued up in every one I’ve seen and made notes on… but the students will be making single-drawer versions. So that changes how we format the end view. I’ll offer them 2 versions & they can decide which to use.
There is no typical arrangement – but there are several that we see over & over. Like these:
a joined chest, one large horizontal panel on the ends. This panel is about 14″ wide (top to bottom) It requires a tree in the range of 36″ in diameter, straight as can be.
One way around that issue is to divide the end with a muntin, and use two narrower vertical panels. Two more joints, but not a big deal. I do this most commonly. Note here the side top rail and the front top rail are different dimensions.
This next one is a chest with a single drawer. So two side-by-side panels above a single horizontal panel. In some cases, these panels all end up the same width – nice & neat for stock preparation.
Here’s a chest of drawers, and I have found this arrangement on chests with 2 drawers too – two sets of vertical side-by-side panels. or 2 over 2 if you want to phrase it that way. You can cover a lot of ground this way.
How these side views relate to the front view and more interestingly, to the rear view is a study in itself. Come take the class – we’ll be able to really explore joined chests in excruciating detail. You’ll be well-versed in joined chests by the end. The End.
Last Friday on my way to the annual banquet of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers at Colonial Williamsburg I took the opportunity of my foray into “civilization” (or is it “out of civilization?”) to make a number of stops purchasing materials and supplies for ongoing and upcoming projects.
Perhaps the most important of these stops was at Virginia Frame and Builders Supply in Fishersville, just a hundred yards or so from I-64. Virginia Frame is renowned for having large, long, and lovely lumber in stock. I bought some 24-foot long southern yellow pine 2x12s, mostly clear and some even select. Since my pickup has a 6-foot bed, the folks at Virginia Frame cut the 24-footers into 8-foot sections and we stacked and strapped them into the bed for the long ride to Williamsburg then back to the mountains.
This September I will be hosting ten members of the on-line forum Professional Refinishers Group, a treasured mostly-virtual community to which I have belonged for many years, for a week of workbench building. The lumber from Virginia Frame will serve as the raw stock from which I will make a Roubo prototype and a Nicholson prototype, to work out all the bugs in the fabrication process. Once I do I will order the same lumber as necessary for all the workbenches being built in September.
There was rain on my trip, so when I got back Saturday afternoon I spread out the boards to let them dry, then yesterday morning I stacked them to allow them to sit properly before I build the benches in February and March. I love working with southern yellow pine, and these boards are magnificent.
But first I have to make a replica of the Henry O. Studley workbench top for the upcoming exhibit.
PART 7 OF “BUILD A DOVETAIL DESK WITH WOODWORKING HAND TOOLS”
In part 7 of this series of videos, I show how I cut the tenon cheeks on the desk’s apron, with a tenon saw.
Click here to go back to part 1, if you want to follow me as I build a historic hinged-top desk for my sons. Below you’ll find photos and the list of tools that I used to build this desk.
TOOLS THAT I USED:
Even though I have a helpful hand tool buying guide (here), I’m still often asked for a list of and links to the tools that I use in my videos, so here is a list of tools that I used in this series of video on desk building (I also included tools that I used in construction that wasn’t in the video):
- Sjoberg Elite 2500 Beech Workbench (with optional tool cabinet)
- Moravian Workbench (portable and sturdy)
- Gramercy Holdfast
- Lie-Nielsen Low Angle Rabbet Block Plane
- Lie-Nielsen No. 62 Low Angle Jack Plane
- Vintage Stanley No. 71 Router Plane
- Lie-Nielsen No. 73 Large Shoulder Plane
- Vintage Stanley No. 4-1/2 Smoothing Plane
- Vintage Beading Plane
- Vintage Wooden screw arm Plow plane
- Lie-Nielsen dovetail saw
- Lie-Nielsen’s thin plate 16″ Tenon Rip Saw
- Lie-Nielsen cross cut back saw
- Vintage Millers Falls Miter box and miter saw
- Robert Larson Coping Saw
MARKING & MEASURING:
- Starrett 6-inch combination square
- Vintage metal try square
- Vintage sliding bevel square
- Vintage Starrett Dividers / Compasses
- Veritas Wheel Marking Gauge or Veritas Dual Wheel Marking Gauge
- Lie-Nielsen panel gauge
- Wooden Straight Edge
- Vintage Stanley No. 62 Folding Rules (24″)
- Marking knife (chip carving knife)
- Staedtler Mars 780 Technical Mechanical Pencil
MALLETS & HAMMERS:
CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO SEE ALL THE FOLLOWING VIDEOS OF THIS DESK CONSTRUCTION!
In just over four weeks we are releasing the first projects for the 360 WoodWorking subscribers (if you aren’t a subscriber yet, there’s still time to join the fun before the first few projects start hitting the street…err, website. Click here to subscribe today.) Not only is my project a fun build, but it gives me a chance to address some questions that frequently come up from woodworkers.
One of the most frequently asked questions I get is, “How many clamps does it take to glue up a case?” The answer to this one is pretty simple. If you’ve cut your dovetails to fit, you need exactly the number shown in the first photo in this post – none. That’s right. The case in the picture is freshly glued up (if you look close you might even be able to see some squeeze-out on the dovetails).
With properly cut dovetails on each corner, the joint and the glue should provide all you need. What would the clamps be doing anyway? The hold in a dovetail joint comes from the properly fit angles not the glue.
If your joints are so loose that you have to clamp them together, they’ll fall apart sooner or later (more likely sooner) anyway. If your joints are so tight you need the clamps to pull them together, you just need more practice sawing closer to the line. Besides, with joints that tight, you run the risk of splitting something or (once the water in the glue does its work on the wood) having the joint fetch up before it is tight. And do you really think that clamping side grain (of the tails) to end grain (of the pins) is going to make a dovetail joint stronger? So, cut your joints properly and lose the clamps.
You might be wondering about squaring the case. Again, if you’ve cut your dovetails properly you should be pretty close to square once the joints are seated. If not, a gentle squeeze from corner to corner should be enough to bring the piece back to square. I try never to run clamps from corner to corner in order to square a case. Clamps give you a tremendous mechanical advantage, and running them from corner to corner across a case is just asking for trouble – you can do some serious damage to the joints very quickly by over-stressing them with the clamps. Just don’t do it unless you’ve run out of other options.
Another frequently asked question that came to mind while working on this project involves cock-beading. If you’re unsure what cock-beading is, it’s a thin strip of wood with one edge rounded over to a half-round. These strips can be applied around the faces of drawer fronts, drawer and door openings or door frames. Usually they cover the entire edge of a part or they are set into rabbets cut into the part or the case. Often they stand proud of the plane of the drawer front or case, but on my case they are set flush with the face of a frame.
Historically, cock-beading is often glued and nailed into place, but I opted to just glue and clamp it to my frame. I just didn’t want to deal with nails and nail holes. Besides, as I glued the beading to the frame I could make vertical adjustments without having to deal with nails restraining the movement. To ensure I got a good glue joint, I used some cauls, or sticks, to spread out the pressure from my clamps. This way I get good adhesion across the entire bead – stile/rail joint.
After the first section of this post you may have thought I was clamp averse, but I’m not. I’m all for using clamps when the only way to properly construct the joint or piece requires is. A side-grain-to-side-grain joint benefits from the added pressure of clamps and should last more than my lifetime. By adding the cauls to the mix, I ensure my beads are gap free.
Be sure you’re set for the upcoming projects at 360 WoodWorking by subscribing, and use clamps when you need them. And when you don’t, don’t.
For the past couple of years as I have been struggling to move into and assemble the new workshop in the barn, I have been plagued by one corner, right inside the entrance to my studio. I am not by nature a neatnik, and the corner wound up being the repository for odds and ends that I didn’t know what to do with. It wasn’t situated well, nor was it large enough for a “real” workbench as the total space was about five feet square. About the only good feature of the corner is that it was a natural home for a large trash can.
Thanks in part to the inspiration of Jonas Jensen, whose blog is one of my favorites and often features immensely ingenious and impressive projects he makes from scrap materials in his spare time in the mechanical workroom of the ships on which he works in the North Sea, I realized there was no excuse for this state of affairs. Combining Jonas’ creativity with both a very limited improvised space and salvaged materials, along the impetus resulting from a recent visit to my friend Bob’s cozy gunsmithing shop, I was spurred on to action so that this very valuable real estate was reclaimed from being consigned to be nothing more than a junk-catching corner.
This new initiative, combined with a little salvaged Sjobergs workbench, resulted in a work space that is destined to become a favorite. I had originally deposited the tiny workbench in the barn’s classroom because even though it was wholly inadequate for full-scale furniture making, I had worked it over enough that it was now a pretty good little bench (after my rescuing it from the trash many years ago). Guess what? I measured it and it fit into the corner as if it had been made for it.
After finding new homes for the stuff in the corner, and acquiring a new rectangular trash can to fit in with the newly positioned workbench, I now have a delightful work station for doing my “fussy” work that is so frequently part of my projects, including carving, jewelry-type fabrication, filing, sawing and the like. My two bowling-ball-and-toilet-flange vises used for carving, engraving, and checkering are now there, along with my stereomicroscope, myriad dental tools, die maker’s files and rifflers, checkering tools and carving chisels. There was even space for a few books overhead, and a permanent (read: rememberable) location for the First Aid kit.
Congratulations to “amvolk” (a.k.a. Andrew Volk). He’s the winner of a print copy of the second edition of “Popular Woodworking’s Arts & Crafts Furniture Projects,” now with 17 new projects (42 in all). The new edition is available now to order in both paperback (the book is expected to be in house and shipping in three weeks) and as a PDF download (“shipping” right away) at shopwoodworking.com. — Megan Fitzpatrick
If French Marquetry stands at the pinnacle of labor intensive and complex woodworking techniques, this shop cabinet surely occupies the opposite position.
For a while I’ve had a collection of corded tools that didn’t have a home. My router, D/A sander, finish nailer, and others that clustered in a “pile” next to the jointer. With the marquetry I’ve acquired a few more interesting accessories. Two hot plates, a frying pan of sand, hot water kettle, and more.None of these tools had a “forever home”, so I decided to do something about it.
I dragged a couple of sheets of Home Depot Birch plywood back to the shop. I don’t like this stuff. It warps as you cut it, has lots voids and is only 5 layers of material. Next time I’ll get the real stuff. But me and my tablesaw cut it down to size quickly, and with the aid of my Kreg jig I had pocket holes drilled the the outsides clamped up in no time. These clamps are the best thing ever.
I’m pretty lukewarm on pocket hole joinery. At least with home center plywood. It’s really easy to overdrive the screws and either strip them out or have the tip tear through the side while the end of the adjoining piece splits while the head wedges it apart. It’s certainly a fast way to assemble something though.
No dados, no glue, just pocket hole screws for the outer shell and Spax screws through the outer face into the edges to affix the back and shelves. The back is just overlapped. Yeah, cheesy construction, but I was curious if it would be strong enough. I hate not having the shelves in dados, and not having the back clued into a groove. But this went together so quickly, maybe two hours from when I started to cut the plywood until I had the cabinet built.
I added a french cleat to the back, and loaded my spray gun with Amber Shellac. Three coats with the shellac reduced 100% out of the can, and the cabinet was ready to hang on the wall.
The shelves seem strong enough to support the tools, although I wouldn’t want to overload them with (say) 10 years of Fine Woodworking back issues. That would be wrong on several levels. I was able to put all of my homeless tool away, with room for the few that I’m actively using left over.
I’ve got a couple of additional organizational projects that I want to do, but this has made a big improvement in shop clutter.
To try and inspire you to give wooden planes a try I have endeavored to keep things within this post as simple as possible, but before we get started a bit of preamble. I’m going to avoid waxing lyrical about these planes and try to let history give you a nudge. Although wooden planes across the board may look different than many of the excellent metal offerings of today, this […]
The final steps to the conservation of the chairs was the reassembly, which first required me to replace most of the screws that were in the chair when it arrived on my door step.
I’ve got a can of miscellaneous screws that accumulate over the years. You’ve probably got one too. I know the guy who worked on these chairs before had one too, because it looks like he just poured it out on the bench and used the first few dozen screws that were within reach with no effort to match screws to each other or to the tasks involved.
I tried to carefully match the screws to the tasks they were executing, and within that function, matched the screws to each other. It was not much of a problem really, as I am the kind of guy who, when he needs a screw or two, goes to the hardware store and buys a box of the size he needs. Because of that I have a pretty good hardware store shelf under the shop stairs.
One of the problems I found in a handful of locations, and which I encounter with some regularity since I spend so much time working on old furniture, is the wallowed out screw hole, where the damage is such that any reasonable sized screw will be ineffectual. To solve that problem I use the following strategy.
First, I establish the depth of the screw hole, usually with a bamboo skewer, then cut a strip of 100% linen rag stationary paper so that the width of the strip of paper is equal to the depth of the existing hole. The I roll up the strip into a curl, so that it fits snugly into the wallowed out hole. I press the rolled fill into the hole, then wick dilute hide glue onto the rolled up paper fill so that it becomes pretty well saturated, then I set the piece aside overnight to let the glue penetrate and harden. When I return to the task the next day, I find that the proper sized screw fits and bites perfectly. If anything goes wrong, I just dampen the fill and gently remove it all with the pointed end of the skewer or a dental pick and start it all over again. It’s a high strength, high utility archival repair. What’s not to like about it?
I returned the chairs to the client’s home where they were placed alongside her exquisite Breuer leather and chrome chairs, where they complete the living room ensemble with real class.
Though I had a busy day planned today, in particular with a blizzard impending, I managed to get in just a few more minutes with my beading plane, and it was well worth it.
To sharpen the actual bead on the plane iron I decided to give the sandpaper a try. I wrapped a piece of 220 grit around a 3/8 dowel and proceeded to hone. In roughly 5 minutes, I managed to get a nice looking iron. I proceeded to give another practice bead a go, and the results were impressive. The shavings were a lot more even and the bead more crisp. When I get more time, I will hone to a higher grit as well as use the slip stone. All in all, this rehab seems to be going very well.
some pictures, spurred on by Chris Schwarz’ last 2 posts on his blog, and my earlier one from today.
A stool. common as can be, but early ones (16th/17th centuries) are less common than hen’s teeth. This one’s from the Mary Rose (1545)
Joined stool. simple, you’ve seen this sort of thing here hundreds of times.
Its cousin – the joined form. same thing, just stretched out.
While we’re at it, let’s get the wainscot chair out of the way.
a variant – the “close” chair, “settle chair” of Randle Holme, although his illustration might be a different version.
This is what Holme illustrated, I can’t imagine a more difficult way to build a chair.
Turned chairs. Ugh. these get weird. First, the “turned chair” “great (meaning large) chair” “rush chair” – lots of names could mean this item.
This is the one Holme said made by turners or wheelwrights, “wrought with Knops, and rings ouer the feete, these and the chaires, are generally made with three feete.’ = I would say, except when the have four feet.
Like this one: the real kicker here is that these chairs have beveled panels for seats, captured in grooves in the seat rails. Thus, sometimes called: a “wooden chair” = chairs often being categorized by their seating materials.
Now we have a “wrought” chair, “turkey-work chair” – and so forth. I mentioned in a comment on Chris’ blog the other day, forget the construction here, (joiner’s work, w turned, and in this case, twist-carved bits) it’s the upholstery that makes the splash. These were top-flight items in the 17th century.
Same gig, only leather. (this photo is I think from Marhamchurch Antiques)
Randle Holme’s turner’s chopping block looks a lot like Chris’ image today from Van Ostade, of a “country stool” – I’d have a chopping block in my kitchen if I could…but we’re out of space.
That was fun, I never get to use much of that research these days.
Back to spoon stuff tomorrow…there’s a mess of them available here = https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/spoons-a-bowl-or-two-jan-2015/
I hate to do posts without pictures, but this one’s easier that way. I’ll do pictures in a separate post.
if you read Chris Schwarz’ blog, http://blog.lostartpress.com/ you’ve seen his posts about Randle Holme’s seating furniture, and today a discussion between Chris & Suzanne Ellison about stools in particular. Randle Holme’s work has always been one of my favorite resources when studying 17th-century stuff. Another is probate records, particularly the household inventories compiled at the time of a person’s death. One reason these are so helpful is that they are the work of many people, thus we get a wider snapshot than just Randle Holme’s ideas. When you study inventories from a wide geographic range, you get various uses of terms. Once you study New England records, they’re even more mixed up, because you have immigrants from all over England thrown together in a small area. The language gets funny.
here’s some terms I have noted about seating furniture. These go way beyond the limits of Chris’ “furniture of necessity” but are still worthwhile.
My comments in brackets.
Chris – note: “beere stoole” and “ale stole” –
This first set I compiled from J. H. Wilson, editor, Wymondham Inventories (Norwich: Centre of East Anglian Studies, date?)
Two little buffett stooles
Litle old stoole
Old close stoole
Three footed stole
Framed stooles [not sure how or if a “framed” stool is different from a “joyned” form…the form is long. Framed & joined are usually thought to mean the same thing, joined w mortise & tenons]
Cushion chayer with a back
Great back chayers
A forme of joyned worke
Plymouth Colony, (New England) :
1 old brodred stoole [I think “boarded” in this case, not “embroidered” – but might be…]
2 busted stools 1s6d
3 bossed stooles [I think this is an upholstered stool, trimmed w large headed tacks…]
a close stoole 8s [not just a stool or ease, but any stool w a compartment in its bottom]
a large stoole Covering and many borderings for stooles 10s,
2 wrought stooles [wrought is upholstered]
2 Cushen stooles
six buffitt stooles 10s
Essex County, Massachusetts:
3 Leather stooles 5s
a brewing stoole 1s6d [“brewing stool” which might clarify the English “beer” and “ale” stools above.]
6 cushion stooles & 2 chaires £2
6s a great stoole or table 3s
an old stoole table
4 Lowe cuchin stools
Back in England, from A. D. Dyer, editor, Probate Inventories of Worcester Tradesmen, 1545-1614 (Worcestershire: W. S. Manley & Son LTD, for the Worcestershire Historical Society, 1967)
Gyne/geynyd stoole [think phonetic, thus “joined”]
Small settell of waynscote with a bench
One bench with a back of waynscote
Waineskott benche [in all of these wainscot means either oak, or frame & panel work.]
Peter C. D. Brears, editor, Yorkshire Probate Inventories 1542-1689 (Yorkshire: Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1972)
Long furram [form?]
Seald/seeled cheare [this is “ceiled” a term meaning “joined” – joiners were sometimes called “ceilers”
Wanded chaire [willow/wicker]
Francis W. Steer, editor, Farm and Cottage Inventories of Mid-Essex, 1635-1749, (Colchester: Wiles & Son, Ltd., 1950)
great joyned chayer
Joyne inlaid Chaire
one Chaire with turn’d pins
Russia lather Chairs
blew cloth Chaires
chaires bottom’d with rushes
turkey worke stooles
bucket stools [seen paintings of chairs made from barrels. never seen an old one surviving]
Joyned stooles/ joint stooles
2 foote stooles
join’d stooles buffeded
one settle with 3 boxes in it
long bench joyning to the wainscot
Great Wicker Chair
low Wicker chair
Michael Reed, editor, The Ipswich Probate Inventories 1583-1631 (Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Boydell Press for the Suffolk Records Society, 1981)
Frame for a stoole
Stole of easment – [this one’s clear – a chair w a chamber pot. a shitter]
Lowe ymbrydred stooles
Footestooles/ Ould footstooles
Two round stooles
Green frindged high stooles
Lyttle stoole with a green cover
Ould stooles covered with blue cloth
Three footed stooles
A brasse foot stoole
Small wyndd stooles
6 heigh stoles covered with lether
Old tressell stooles
Six wrought stooles
heigh stooles covered with lether
6 joyned stooles covered with scottish work
5 heigh buffet stoles
One high bench with a backe
Chayers litle and great
Wicker chaire with a back
Matted chayers [chairs w rush seats]
Six old segging chayers
18 chayers of seg cist 7s (?) [are these serge chairs? i.e. upholstered ?]
Wooden chayer – [Wooden? aren’t they all wooden? This means a wooden seat, not a woven seat.]
Three green turned chaires
Great turne chayer
One turnors chayre
Old turne chayer
hye turned chayer
hipp turned chayer (?) [I assume bad transcription]
one hopp chayer
Old backt chair
Joyned chaires great and small
A small Flanders chayer with a backe of green cloth
Great joyned chaire covered with lether
Lether backe chayers, 2 heygh and 2 lower
One chaire covered with scottish work
One great green frindged chaire
One high green chaire
One settworke chaire
chayers covered with greene kersye
1 couch as it standeth
In yesterday’s action packed blog cleverly titled The Met You Haven’t Met, I show a picture of the Blessing Bishop and speculated as to why he was hollowed.
Looking around the web some more, I came up with a possible explanation. In Italian Medieval Sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters by Lisbeth Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Jack Soultanian, it is suggested that is might have been included as part of a framing structure. Probably an altarpiece with painted wings showing episodes from the life of St. Nicholas, to whom the church from which the sculpture came was dedicated.
Since I am on the road and didn’t have my copy with me, I found the book at Google Books.
Well, that’s one explanation. I like it.
Yesterday afternoon I began the refurbishing of my old beading plane that I “rediscovered” in my garage a few weeks back. Going into this, I don’t have high hopes to turn this tool into a precision piece of equipment that I purchased for peanuts. But I am hoping to learn more about moulding planes, as in how they work, how they are made, and what their potential happens to be.
I started by clamping the plane to the workbench and lightly sanding down any breakouts in the wood. There was some minor splintering that I managed to remove, and the boxwood does have a small chunk missing, but at the moment there is little I can do about it. I then turned my attention to the wedge, which I sanded by placing the sheets on my table saw, and going from 40 grit up to 220. I did a test fit with the sanded wedge and it was perfect, so I moved on to the iron.
Because I’ve never sharpened a profiled plane iron before, this was obviously going to be the most difficult part. I started by working on the back. I spent around 5 minutes on the diasharp with both grits, and then used the 8000 grit water stone to finish it. It definitely polished up nicely, and considering this plane is probably close to 150 years old I can live with that.
To sharpen the bevel, I once again used the diasharp and 8000 grit water stone, and just like all of my sharpening lately, I did it freehand. I’ve come to a conclusion that will contradict my earlier beliefs, but I truly think that freehand sharpening is just as easy as using a honing guide, and in some cases it is actually easier. Anyway, once I got the bevel sharp and square I used a slipstone to sharpen the actual bead. I have only one slipstone, which is a 4000 grit. That should be fine for most steel as long as it doesn’t need to be reground. In this case, I will probably have to go to a lower grit, or perhaps some sandpaper and a dowel, because I did manage to improve the bead, but it took tool long a time, and it still needs work.
I did a test bead on a piece of scrap pine and I am encouraged by the results. The shoulder of the bead is very crisp and smooth, which hopefully means that I managed to get it sharpened the way it was meant to be sharpened. The bead, on the other hand, isn’t too bad, but still needs work. The purpose of these planes was to produce profiles that would not need additional work for finish. As of now the bead would probably need a light sanding before I could apply a stain, but I’m definitely not unhappy with the effort. As I said, I believe that some 220 sandpaper wrapped around a dowel would do wonders. Now I need only to keep using the tool and learn its peculiarities, such as how tightly I should set the wedge and how thick the shavings should be. But I like the profile, it has much more character than a bead made on a router table, and its less messy and a hell of a lot quieter. If all goes well, I may just have to attempt to build one of these for myself.