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The year was 1890 and the first ever dovetailing machine was patented by the Britannia Company, Colchester for £2 2s. It’s a dovetailing jig as we would understand it which is used on a foot powered table saw.
It was an unfortunate year, the beginning of the end of yet one more skill, but in the interest of gaining historical woodworking knowledge we shall read more about it and how it’s used.
A pine board 24”x 18”x 3/8” is clamped at each end on the table saw. A spline fitting the groove in the table saw ensures accurate movement, with a slot exactly in the centre of the two frames when in their places, for the saw to work through as shown in Fig.1.
Fix on the gauge, (Fig.3) which is a piece of wood with slots at intervals, according to the size of dovetails required- upon platform, (Fig.2), of frames, as shown. These gauges are generally fixed upon the lower ledge, but for some work the upper ledge may be more convenient. These gauges can be easily made by an amateur, or are supplied with the dovetailer.
The appliance in Fig.2 is to be fixed upon the board as shown, so that the saw may run clear when the movable frame is at either end of the segment.Put in the screw through the frame Fig. 2 and screw down so as to allow the frame to move backwards and forward. The frame is to be fixed as shown 2 ¾” from square line of saw. To cut the mortises, place the wood upon the inclined plane, having adjusted the table so that the saw will cut the correct depth. Bring the front edge of the wood up to the end of the gauge, holding the marker in the left hand so that it falls into the various slots s the wood passes up the incline. The positions of the operator, the movable table, the frames, gauges, inclined plane, wood, marker and saw are all very clearly indicated in Fig.1
When one row has been made, turn the wood round and take the marker in the right hand and follow each cut up the incline until the cuts are completed. To cut the tenons or pins, adjust the saw table so that the saw cuts the required depth. Fix the gauge on the lower ledge of platform, the inner end of gauge forming the distance for the first cut.
Of course, it will be understood that the cuts only are made by the saw. The clearances of the mortises and the wood intervening between the pins must be affected in the usual manner with a chisel. The merit of the entire appliance lies in the presentation of the edges of the wood to the saw in such a manner and in such a position that the saw kerfs, first in one direction and then in the other, are made with such sure and certain regularity of distance and direction, and perfect parallelism, that an operator who is comparatively an unskilled hand can be enabled to perform work which, if done by the hand, must be the outcome of long practice combined with the utmost care in execution.
England has been at the forefront of invention of engineering marvels since their creation of the Industrial revolution in 1830. I’m in midst of writing an article on the industrial revolution and its effect it had and still has on human lives. All I’m going to add is that this machine or appliance eliminates the need for a skilled dovetailer. I’m sure it would only take two minutes to train anybody to operate it and produce flawless dovetails.
For the sake of skill and of course profits, we have traded something more valuable in fact something priceless; skill.
Something to ponder, we marvel at how skilled they were, but how many of these skills were actual hand work or machine work. I think it’s safe to bet that our craftsmen in the 18th century were machine free and therefore truly skilled at their jobs. It would be grossly unfair if I said the opposite about craftsmen in the 19th century, but how many of those dovetails we see in antique furniture of that period were made by hand or by the patented dovetailing machine.
I wish I had of taken a photo of the auger bit prior to the fix, but I didn’t think of writing about it till it was too late.
Just because it’s an antique or vintage doesn’t mean it’s flawless. This set of Irwin auger bits is pretty good, but far from flawless. I bought this set years ago and haven’t used them much in all this time.
Anyway, I remembered that I had a bit 3/8″ that wasn’t straight and of course it’s always the one that is used more than others or at least second to the 1/4″. The shaft was bent and pretty much I might add. Maybe someone dropped it, either way it needs fixing.
On the metal part of my lathe which is now serving as an anvil until my luck runs out, I tapped it straight with a rubber mallet they use in panel beating. (This mallet is pretty good and will not leave a mark on wood not matter how hard you hammer it.) I would hammer a couple of times and check the bit by eye. Once it looks straight, I would finish it by hammering whilst turning the bit 360°.
This is the result.
I chucked it in the brace and held the bit and brace vertical while slowly turning the bit. No wobble, good news, it’s not a bin job. It’s fixed.
Issue III has finally been released as you all know and there has been a lot of downloads, but zero feedbacks.
Hope this post helps someone.
Guys, I’m really sorry, but wordpress didn’t publish the link. I set it to auto schedule publish, but I learned now that it needs to be manually linked under the category.
Just in case it disappears here is the download link
In the top right hand corner you will see a tab called “HANDWORK Magazine” Don’t click on it just over your mouse over it and a drop down menu will appear. Choose whichever issue you wish to download.
A side rebate (rabbet) plane widens dado’s (housing) or trench (Europe) and grooves, wow so many names for one joint. Sometime a dado is a little too tight to accept a shelf or a groove for a drawer bottom needs to be a little wider for a perfect fit, this is where these planes excel.
There are several versions and makers of these planes, I believe Stanley only produced two of the No.79 and the 98 and 99 which Lie Nielsen now produces.
Then there was Edward Preston, whom Veritas based their design on and not to forget record. When Preston left the tool making scene, Record took over the production of the Preston planes.
Some time ago I began my hunt for a decent no.79 and I found one on eBay. I can’t remember what I paid for it, but they’re stupidly expensive now. The one I found was in near perfect condition. Here are the eBay pictures I downloaded at the time.
Whoever bought it must have thrown it in the toolbox and forgotten about it. It’s rare to see these planes in such good condition. Well, I was lucky. There is another version of the no.79 you should avoid. They have slotted round screws instead of the thumb screws like I have.
I suspected at the time that the slots in the screws would wear out through repeated use, so I asked my friend Tony as he has one and he hates it for that reason alone. Tony’s tool chest was featured in Jim Tolpin’s book “The Toolbox Book.” page 28. He fits over 400 tools in his chest and it weighs in at a whopping 400lb (181.43kg). That’s an entire workshop of tools he can carry to any job site and only taking up a small corner in the back of his pickup.
Let me see anyone do this with modern machinery.
Anyhow, the purpose of this blog was not to go into any detail about different versions of the side rebate planes, but to discuss a manfacturer’s flaw in the fence and the quick solution I came to fixing it.
So even though it’s basically new for a vintage plane, it still had a manufacturing fault. The fence wasn’t 90° to the surface of the plane. This rectification was on my to do list for many months, but I didn’t give it much thought on how to fix it since I don’t have a square metal block, I’ve left as is till this morning. My day typically begins at 4 am when I’m not working my other job, this is the best part of the day as your mind is fresh with new ideas and it’s peaceful as the world is still asleep. It’s very serene.
I started off with a pair of pliers trying to bend it into shape and all I managed to do was create small teeth marks ruining what was once a pristine surface.
If Stanley did their job right in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to do this.
So, I kept bending it like a moron not realising that I was also creating a hump in the middle. Now I was frantic and I looked around in desperation for anything that was square that could handle a beating and there she was. My lathe.
I threw a square up against the outside face and no go, so I tried the inside and alas she’s square.
I placed the fence against the metal bar on the lathe and with the hard part of a rubber mallet I struck several light blows across the surface.
Yes, it worked! The fence is square, but the hump is still there. To fix that I used a normal metal hammer and got rid of the hump.
Had I given this proper thought beforehand, I wouldn’t have left teeth marks on a pristine surface. Lucky for me these marks are not sharp where it would mar the work. Surprisingly though they are smooth as a baby’s butt.
Is this a must have tool?
It’s a toughie to answer, yes and no. Yes, when you need one and I have used it more often than not, but it’s not an everyday “usage tool.” I think it’s one of those tools you tend to forget you have until the day pops up when nothing else will work as the tool you forgot you had.
I had some free time on my hands, yeah, I know, shock, horror I got free time. I returned to an unfinished project I started a few months ago building a wooden rabbet plane. I was boring a 1″ hole near the escapement when CRACK the bit split the timber in two.
Rather than chuck the plane away, I glued it back together again with fish glue. Those cam clamps provide just enough pressure without risking crushing the fibres. I say that because I reattached it as is without doing disturbing the break. Fortunately for me the break was clean with no missing parts.
I left the plane oversized in length, width and thickness. When I inserted the iron and wedged it, I noticed the plane bowed ever so slightly. Maybe when I put the cover on the rabbeted grip, the bow may not return. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.
Finally it’s finished, all the articles completed, edited over and over again. This was a big project for me as the moulding planes article was a toughie to write about. I needed to provide enough description without putting you to sleep and make it easy enough to follow. I think I have accomplished both and I believe you will be able to make any h&r using a simpler method than the traditional British and American approach. I have covered many aspects of the build and the reasoning behind the numbering system.
I’m sorry it took so long, but I think you will agree it was worth the wait.
As you can see I’ve also made some minor changes. Hope you like it.
As always I would like to thank Matt McGrane our magazine’s contributing editor. I would be lost without him.
Issue III release date is on Saturday 4th November 2017.
Yes, it is free
The homemade match of liquid was a success after all.
This time I did a rubbed joint and left the glue to draw the wood onto each other, another words I let the glue do the clamping. I let it sit for 12 hours. The glue on the surface was gummy as it should be. It’s a good practice to allow 24hours to cure, but I wanted to see the effectiveness of the homemade batch after 12 hours. The results were the glue won. It held up its end of the bargain doing its job perfectly. As you can see in the picture above the glue line is intact.
Some points to note before I wither away into my shop.
- Hot Hide will dry hard relatively quickly on the surface, that has been my personal experience.
- Liquid Hide will remain gummy on the surface for longer than 24hrs because of the urea, but will cure in the joint.
- You can perform a rubbed joint with HH
- You cannot perform a rubbed joint with LH (the pieces I used were very thin and even then I couldn’t do a proper rubbed joint)
- You can glue an edge joint with HH straight off the plane
- You cannot glue an edge joint with LH straight off the plane, the edge surface must be roughed up with some course grit paper.
I guess the last part is the most important bit of information about LH. The first test I did was a failure as it broke on the glue line without much effort. The reason being the surface was smooth off the plane. I knew this would happen, but I thought maybe a home batch version would react differently and it didn’t. I did write about this in Issue III.
The second test I roughed the edge with some 80 grit sandpaper, 120grit would work as well. Obviously it was a success.
As you can see there are notable differences between Liquid Hide and Hot Hide. It would be better to use Hot hide over Liquid hide, but it’s also comforting to know that if you need that extra open time LH will do the job equally well.
If you remember my previous post I was making my own batch of liquid hide glue.
The results have turned out better than expected. Tack time is about 4 mins and I really didn’t get much more from OBG. I ripped,jointed and edge glued the same beech and let it sit for an hour. An hour is never usually long enough time as no glue can cure within that short time span, but it shocked that I couldn’t break the join. What’s even more surprising that the glue dried clear! See for yourselves. The join is in the middle.
Then I edge glued pine and the squeeze out was a light transparent brown colour. When I wiped it off, there’s no dark colour on the glue joint. Again, see for yourselves.
Here’s what it looks like in the bottle.
As you can see it looks no different than any liquid hide on the market.
It’s ironic though that it dries clear,and I’m suspecting the urea must have had something to do with that. Tomorrow night I’ll see where the pine will break and if it’s successful as I think it should be,I’ll be making my own batch of LH from then on.
I wonder though how long the shelf life will be.
I use hide glue when making up the blanks for the moulding planes, but I don’t like how the colour of hide glue at the join shows that it’s laminated. So I made a trial run with fish glue as I know it will dry to a clear finish and is just as strong as hide glue.
Animal products is not a gap filler, but hide glue to a small degree will fill some small gaps. Fish glue on the other hand shows no mercy. If the join isn’t tight enough, it will not fill it and will remind you how much you suck at woodworking. This means your work has to be God like and how is that possible?
As you can see in this scrap of beech, I ripped it into four separate pieces, jointed and edge glued each one individually. You can clearly see that the glue did not fill the gap in the top right corner, but the left side was well done so it’s a seamless join.
I haven’t had the balls to try this when laminating the blanks, because I’m sure there would be gaps on such a large surface.
I think in making up the blanks if you don’t want to see a dark brown colour at the join, then white PVA glue would be a better option.
I came across a website several weeks ago on how to make liquid hide. I copied it down but didn’t note which website I took it from. So, whomever you are I thank you in advance.
What you need:
- Hide Granules
These three ingredients are mixed by measure of weight. Follow these steps to mix your own batch.
1oz (28grams) of 192 grams strength Hide granules
.2oz (5.6grams) of Urea
1.5oz (42 grams) of distilled water
Mix the Urea into granules and stir it.
Then pour the distilled water into the mix and give it a quick stir.
Cover it and let it sit overnight. The next day heat it up to 140°F (60°C) for 2 hours.
(I’m not sure why it’s required to use distilled water unless tap water in the U.S. is filthy)
Liquid Hide is now ready to be used. Pour it into a small plastic bottle and when you need it, just heat the bottle with water up to the same temperature written above.
All well said and done, but we’ll see how works out tomorrow. I’ll keep you posted.
Btw, the Issue III of The Lost Scrolls Of HANDWORK magazine is in its final stage. I’m hoping to publish within the next couple of weeks. Fingers crossed
I want to apologise to all my readers of HANDWORK for not releasing the third issue in a timely fashion. It’s very hard to do so because of my current job. It’s a juggling act and the balls are falling all over the place.
Writing this magazine is probably the best thing I have ever ventured into. I know firsthand the benefits in terms of knowledge I have personally gained, and the many benefits others have gained according to the emails of support I have received since releasing the first issue.
It’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. Dedicating the time needed to build then write about the build is most difficult.
As we near Christmas things get busy at work and I may have to work 7 days a week for the next couple of months. It’s crazy I know and the money isn’t so incredible either. It sure is no way to live.
I’ve started this magazine with good intentions and I had no idea that its popularity would rise so quickly. May be because it’s free or may be this is what people really want. But it isn’t possible for me on my own to continue the way I am without ending up in a hospital bed due to exhaustion and being financially strained as well, even though, I’m working inhumane hours to do both and be expected to not walk around looking like a zombie or end up being a corpse.
I have given this much thought and I think I ought to take a leap of faith, go out on a limb and turn it into a business and work it full time. Ha! easier said then done due to lack of finance. Giving up my job till I can earn enough from the magazine if any for that matter to sustain my household is a big risk I’m not willing to take. Instead, I would like to take baby steps. With that I mean setting a price on the fourth issue. With the income earned from that I can expand and pay contributing authors for the fifth issue. The money earned from subsequent issues I can begin with some prize giveaways and I’m not talking about some cheap shabby cruddy cheap tool either. I’m not going to be stingy about any of this.
If you’re all willing to give this a shot, we will have a good hand tool only woodworking magazine. I cannot do this without your support. The price I’m contemplating to be around US$5.00. Please don’t gruel me out for charging in US dollars as Veritas is a Canadian company and they only charge online in US dollars as their dollar isn’t worth much just like the Aussie dollar. I think this price is fair and much less than current woodworking magazines on the market.
Let me know your thoughts it would be interesting to hear them.
P.S. All the articles besides the moulding plane build is finished. I have just begun writing the article because I have finished the build only last week. Yes I know its been slow but blame it on my job and also blame it on the high cost of shipping O1 tool steel. The shipping costs are twice and in some cases three times the price of the steel. I’ve also devoured just about every engineering place in my locality hoping to lower the costs a bit and they too made a hefty profit from me. I wore the cost. So what I’m saying is that I had to stash a little aside every week just to pay the high costs of shipping and there’s the conversion rate and credit card fees on top. Geez have I missed any other fees?
I got an email yesterday from someone saying I didn’t make those mistakes on purpose. Seriously, do you have nothing better to do with your life than call people liars? Just to prove mines bigger than yours I made some new dovetails. Well moron did I pass? Am I a craftsman now? Will you be sending me a merits badge? You should be happy I named the pictures after you, moron_1 and moron_2.
I know I should ignore people like that but today was a test of patience day and I ran on empty.
You may look at the photos and say wow dude that looks like crap. Sure does and intentionally. I purposefully made some gaps in these dovetails as an experiment to see if Hot Hide Glue would fill up the gaps.
I filled the gaps with saw dust first and then covered the surface with the glue. It took somewhere between 30-60 mins before the glue hardened. I know from experience with liquid hide that it should remain gummy for a couple of day if left on the surface, I think the urea has something to with the slow curing but I’m not entirely sure. However, this isn’t the case with HHG and I actually didn’t know that before.
The glue has been hardening for about 5 hours now and I didn’t want to wait till tomorrow to see how it’s going. So I’ve done the finger nail test and pressed into the gap. Sure enough it’s rock solid.
I know it’s appalling and none of us ever wants our dovetails to turn out like this, but it is nice to know that on the off chance we make a small blunder and have a small gap nothing as big as this I hope, that if packed with a little bit of saw dust covered with HHG that it will work. I also sanded most of the glue away and the glue is still holding the dust as it seeped through the gaps and solidified the dust.
Well another effective examination wrapped up, another myth demystified and something new learned.
I see innumerable recordings on YouTube innocently giving out the wrong information on the ratio mix of water to granules. Why are there so many mislead? My own particular musings to this is were all gaining from each other. In the event that one source puts out deluding data, at that point it spreads like an infection tainting thousands consistently. My issue with some YouTube recordings is the mundane, relentless, unconcerned, easygoing, detached demeanor they take towards the art.
For this situation I will just allude to shroud stick. You hear words like “oh I don’t measure how much water I use, I just pour it in and cover the surface.” That’s not by any stretch of the imagination how it goes and the reason they say this, is they don’t realize what is the right proportion blend.
On the off chance that you’ve perused my magazines you will see antiquated articles revealing to you the right proportion blend is 1:1. It doesn’t state what looks great to the eye. They additionally don’t take this nonchalant disposition towards the art where I’ve heard some say on the off chance that if it looks square then it must be square. I believe this attitude is just an exterior facade to influence the viewer into believing or at least make it appear that hand tools are a no fuss operation. Rip it and tidy up the edge with a couple of swipes of your plane and Bob’s you uncle. This is implausible, unrealistic woodworking.
Today is my roster day off so I don’t want to spend too much time on this as I’m under the gun to go back to the build for the third issue. So I’ll simply demonstrate to you a progression of photograph’s and afterward you’ll realise what the right proportion blend resembles.
Lo-and-behold I didn’t take a photo of it mixed! Unbelievable. I’ll try to describe it to you, but if you mix 1:1 you’ll see what it looks like. The water level should just cover the surface of the granules. Not flood it or drown it but just cover it.
What’s additionally imperative is the nature of the granules and I’m referring to its quality. I purchase mine from Patrick Edwards; he gets it from Milligan and Higgins. I don’t know Behlen items whether they utilize Milligans and Higgins and simply slap their own particular mark on it or on the off chance that they make their own. In any case, Milligans and Higgins is a trusted and experience organisation and if it’s sufficient for Patrick an incredible Marqueter with 40+ years of knowledge and experience at that point it’s adequate for me.
If I’ve offended someone in this post then toughen up.
Our lives are hectic enough without to need to filter through fake comments from spammers. If you’re not already moderating your comments you need to start. These idiots use a program that’s getting better and better at mimicking human replies or what a person would say. None the less they’re still robots and can’t get it right all the time, but sometimes they do and when you let one in they just flood your message board with fake comments.
WordPress has caught 200 spams this month, this is an increase of 100% from the last month. This increase of spams is due to a word I used “women” in my last post. Fake commentators were with female names.
Thought I would make this post to give you a heads up if you haven’t already been made aware of it.
The heading is a little misleading as I don’t know the correct word for it, but the picture will put you in the know as to what I’m referring too.
I’ve been cleaning up my bench top, you know flattening it and taking out as many scores as I could. This morning I decided to replace the timber on my vice and locating the holes with the vice installed got me stumped for a good 5 mins. Measuring in from the side and top was an option, but then I remembered I had these dowel centre finders, but they were a little too small and kept falling out. So I used masking tape to temporarily hold them in place while I pricked the board. It takes the guess work out of locating the holes which may lead to potential misalignment.
Now isn’t she pretty. I couldn’t take out all the knife marks, chisel marks and drill holes and but she looks better than what she was before. I’m such a pig of a woodworker.
Time for a new decent workbench is long overdue and I’m going to start saving up for it. I know it’s going to be close to 2 metres long, space permitting. I also know I want a tail vice and since I’ve never built one I rightly don’t know if I should attempt it or just buy this neat little one from HNT Gordon.
It looks OK and I reckon it will do the trick, but I think a traditional vice would suit me better. To make moulding planes I can clamp them them vertically, also if I needed to bore a hole in the end grain I can clamp them vertically. For carving they also work like a dream and I’m sure I would find many more uses for it. But there’s a catch I won’t be able to install another face vice as the tail vice will be in the way for re sawing or clamping large panels. Having a bandsaw suffices 99% of my re sawing needs, but what about those wide panels where it’s too wide for a bandsaw? I may have to make a small bench just for that like the one Roubo shows, but that also means eating up precious shop space for something that won’t be used on a regular basis unless I sell my bandsaw which I don’t foresee that happening in this life or the next. In fact, I’ll take it with me to the afterlife, that’s how useful that machine is. The only two useful machines I have in my shop is my lathe and bandsaw. I don’t ever use my portable thicknesser and I don’t know why I still have it.
I will keep the current going through the lathe until I can figure out how to make a treadle lathe spin 2000 rpm. I’ve seen many foot powered lathes work and I don’t how people are not frustrated with it. Greg Merritt recently built his and he’s having a ball with it, but who knows maybe if I tried one I too would like it.
Here is a picture of a model bench I found on the net I would like to base mine on.
Lastly on vices, I still haven’t decided if I should make one or buy one with a quick release. My current vice is a quick release dawn, but it’s making a clicking sound since I did that glue test of trying to snap the board with it. Amazing isn’t it how strong this glue is. Ever since I figured out that it needs thinning it’s been my go to glue.
I’ve been blogging a lot lately and that’s because I’ve had three weeks off work. Sadly I haven’t won the lottery to make it permanent so I’m back on this weekend. I won’t be as active as I was but that’s life ain’t it.
Just to let you know I still have a fair way to go in finishing Issue III. I’m going to include the moulding planes build which I hope you will enjoy. I’ve been reading some of the comments people are writing about the magazine on other forums. Many people like it, but there are some who want a magazine that’s written for advanced woodworkers. I have always stated from the very beginning at opening this blog that I’m not catering towards the beginners. However, I do realize that we were all beginners at one stage and I should and will cater for all. In truth, there is only so much one can write about the craft before you end up repeating yourself. What I don’t want to do is write about how to saw, or using reference edges for your squares.
I have included many useful articles in the magazine about various topics. I understand not every topic would be of interest to everyone and advanced or not you will learn something new. I know I have and still do everyday. The topics written by me are my own experiences and findings I have learned and discovered over the years through use, the topics written by others are their own and the topics written by our ancients are the most experienced and most beneficial to us. I have said this in the past, who can know more about working with their hands than those guys who worked it everyday 150 years and more ago. That’s why I put them in and will continue to do so as long as this magazine is active.
I will include many projects from clock making to building furniture. I’m not a wonder boy but I will do the best I can. However, finding new contributing authors has proven to be more difficult than I had previously thought. I thank Greg, Brian and Josh for their contributions and I also thank Matt for his contributions. These guys really gave it all they had for the love of the craft. “Give and you shall receive.” I would love women to also contribute articles, I know according to the statistics on this blog and my YouTube account that it’s only 3% that are actively viewing. I’m sure this percentage is probably larger elsewhere and if it is why not showoff your skills and contribute.
One last final point I really need to make clear. I’m not interested in portraying myself as a know it all. I know people on YouTube and other blogs where they are deriving an income from it, have to make themselves appear that they are flawless and a walking encyclopedia of woodworking knowledge. I never want to head down that road irrespective I’m making money from the craft or not. I think that image portrayal is bullshit, it’s the biggest load of crock and I don’t want it. I’m me, I’m down to earth, I’m honest, hard working and fallible. I make mistakes like everyone else and I certainly don’t know everything, but I learn something new everyday. I want to be the best I can be and genuinely want the same for you.
So there it is in a nutshell, nothing is perfect, no one is perfect and this magazine is not perfect, but I did pour my heart and soul into it. If given the financial resources and time to put into it, I know I could make it better.
Is that wishful thinking, I wonder.
This afternoon I was gluing a part of the grip I sawed off back on the moulding plane. While I was gluing up I thought to myself, how much simpler it is to use these small dispensable bottles than it would be using those large ones that come with the glue.
It’s easier to hold in my hand and I actually use less. Old Brown Glue on the right will expire on 17th of this month, however it doesn’t mean that it will go off in three days. I’ve kept in a cool dark place for the last 12 months. If it’s runny out of the bottle and it isn’t a hot day then it’s probably gone off, but that still isn’t a good indication if it has. I usually go by smell and hide glue if gone off has the smell of a dead carcass.
I buy 50 ml (1.75 ounces) bottles from a $2 store, not sure what you would call it overseas. For hide glue, heating it up in a small bottle is quicker than it is in the large standard bottle. It’s also cheaper to buy the large 20 oz bottle than it is to buy their smaller ones. I know people prefer to buy small bottles of the stuff but it’s not good economics to do so. If you use the stuff regularly then you will have many refills at a fraction of the price and your not throwing your money on what costs a lot and that is shipping fees.
Once the bottle empties don’t throw it in the bin, unless you’ve emptied the large ones. If you have, don’t refill the smaller bottles with newer fresh glue because these glues are organic and you don’t want to contaminate fresh glue with old glue.
Here’s something that’s going to blow your socks off. I just had a delivery from Star Track. The driver is an owner driver (contractor), he told me that a small parcel costs $1.40 to deliver in my case it was a DVD. I paid $12 for this delivery! So think about it, I pay $40 for shipping for the fish glue and $20 for OBG because it was within Australia. Imagine how much I save because I buy the larger bottles than if I had of purchased the smaller one several times in a year.
If you’ve read issue two of HANDWORK you’ll understand why it’s a pain to sharpen thick A2 and O1 irons. It’s a necessary evil, but one that can be slightly minimised though.
After re sawing a board you’re left with a rough surface and I can’t tell you how painful it is to put a freshly sharpened thick iron it. So, by chance I happened to find a cheap Stanley in my shed. I don’t know when I got it or how much I paid for it but it was there sitting in the bottom of my old toolbox in OK condition.
I cleaned it up and flattened the bottom and didn’t do anything else to it. The iron sharpened in a jiffy because it’s thin. I don’t do any finish planing with it, I use it just to take the roughness out and then finish the board off with the rest of my planes.
I still have to sharpen several times in a day, but prepping the board with this cheapy means I save on a couple of trips to the sharpening station.
One of the topics that will be covered in the third issue of The Lost Scrolls of HANDWORK will be moulding planes. I’ll show you step by step method of building a pair of No.4 hollow and round using the French build method of the 18th century. It’s a lot easier building a pair of no.14 than it is the more useful smaller ones like the no.4.
The French method is about the cutting a Rebate/Rabbet so you can make the mortise and then laminate that cut off part back on. So there will be some sawing to do and that part isn’t all that easy. For one you need to sset the saw kerf perfectly straight and then maintain a vertical angle throughout the cut. One way you could do this is to use a kerfing plane, but since I don’t have one and really don’t need one a shoulder plane works very well. I do plan on making a kerfing plane in the future, but for now I know I don’t need it.
The first thing you need to do is strike a line about a 32nd in from the desired depth.
Then with the shoulder plane or a rabbet plane if you have one lean the plane to the left side to create a kerf for the saw to rest in. Do this a few times but not too many unless you’ve allowed plenty of over hang which I’ll go into more detail in the article.
Once your satisfied that you have a deep enough kerf, place your saw in it and very lightly pull back whilst maintaining an upright vertical position. Use the saws reflection to judge by eye if your vertical or not. I’m refraining from using the word “perfectly” vertical. I know it’s not possible to be perfectly anything working by hand so do the best you can and try and be 90° to the surface.
Tip: If you need aid use a small square and lean your saw onto it as you pull back.
Repeat this two or three times and start sawing. Remember you bodies posture to ensure your keeping your saw straight. Don’t force the saw and don’t press down either. Let the weight of the saw do it’s job. Always keep an eye on both ends, another words stop periodically sawing and check to see if you are straight. The first 1/8″ is the most critical, if you get that right then the saw will continue to be straight throughout the rest of the cut. Unfortunately what I just said only applies when your sawing the cheeks and not to the shoulder. The cheek is the longest part and the material has sandwiched the saw which is serving as a helping hand to keep your cuts accurate. You can still stuff up though and wonder in the cut so keep your wits about you at all times.
Your saw will tell you if you begin to wander off your line, that’s the beauty of hand tools. The saw will begin to hang or bind in the cut, that’s an indication that you moved or are moving off the line.
You’re also need to clean out the dust between the teeth as you periodically stop to check on your progress, and don’t forget to blow out as much dust from the kerf as you can. Oil or use candle wax a gazillion times to make sawing easier. Remember the saw plate is sandwiched and there is a lot of friction going on.
As you can see in the picture below I’m 32nd off the line and straight as a ruler. I’ll finish it with a small shoulder plane. In fact this method is no different to when your make a knife wall for your crosscuts.
That is nice and straight. If you don’t achieve that first go, don’t fret too much over it as I don’t make perfect cuts all day everyday. We do stuff up and it’s all fixable. Remember though “practice makes permanent.” If you don’t know what I’m talking about read the second issue.
In the picture below you repeat the same for the cheeks as you did for the shoulder.
There will always be a need to clean things up with a shoulder or rabbet plane. You can even use a block plane and then finish it off with a chisel.
The point is though that you’ve cut down on a lot of cleaning and rabbeting woes using this method. It’s fool proof in my view, but that’s my view and probably you have a different opinion or better yet, a much better method of executing this operation.
In case you do don’t hesitate to offer your suggestment. I’m always open to learn a better way of doing things or just learning something new.