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Journeyman's Journal

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This is a journal of the art of woodworking by hand
Updated: 45 min 22 sec ago

Hairdryers for Woodworking

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 5:29pm

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For us blokes going bald or are bald a simple towel will suffice, but they’re not just for drying hair.

We use them on wood too. Don’t let your wife or daughter catch you using her’s just buy a cheapy.

So what can they be used for?

If you’re using animal protein glues and you know your glue up is going to take a little longer than usual that ‘s where a hair dryer can be useful.  Heat up the parts that need to be glued.  The open time will be slightly longer and the adhesion will be better.

If you’re using Fish glue, the recommended clamping time is 12 hours. Once 12hrs has passed you sometimes notice the glue line feels a little tacky.  That’s normal with fish glue as the exposed glue line hasn’t fully cured to a hard state.  It’s still structurally sound, bonded and workable. Not much different to some PVA’s  where you only need to clamp for 4 hours before you can begin working on it and the same rule applies to fish glue.   It will still take 24 hrs before the glue has fully cured.  However, to get rid of the tackiness a hair dryer works quickly.  You only need to use it for less than minute to dry it.

I wouldn’t recommend using it to dry your finishes even though some people actually do.

In regards to yesterdays post on thinning fish glue.  This morning I unclamped the test pieces.  12 hrs did pass and the glue line was tacky, so I used the hairdryer to dry it to the touch.  The results are no gaps due to lumpiness, I thinned it to the right consistency, and the bond is super strong.  I will let it sit for another 12 hrs to fully cure and then try to break the edge bond.  I’ll use a clamp or stick it in my vice to break it apart.  If it breaks along the glue line then it failed, but if it breaks anywhere else, then it’s a success.  

This will be my final test with fish glue. I really don’t expect it to fail. 


Categories: Hand Tools

Bargain

Fri, 09/01/2017 - 7:06am

Here is a jointer plane for sale in Oz, it’s a steel at $100 because it’s in mint condition.  I laughed at his reason for selling it ” because he has too many planes and he doesn’t use a jointer very often.” Really?  Sounds like a machinist and has several smoothers.

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/new-town/hand-tools/wooden-hand-plane-ece-short-jointer-plane/1157562317

20


Categories: Hand Tools

Trial & Error with Fish Glue

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 11:42pm

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This is going to be a very short post, but I want to share a finding with you.  I purchased 1 litre bottle of fish glue from Lee Valley.  The day it arrived was the day I put it to use.  The glue’s consistency is very thick, and I tried it as is on two moulding planes I made.  The results were poor.  It’s not that it’s not doing its job, that part is fine.  It held on strong and still holding strong, but it needs thinning prior to use.  I knew that all along but since I’ve had previous success with it with their tiny bottled version I didn’t think it would make any difference, but I was wrong.  Like any glue it should flow like maple syrup as they say, I’ve never actually seen maple syrup but I know what it should flow like as I use hide glue.

So, today I thinned it by eye, I can’t say exactly how many percentages you should thin it by, but it should flow off your brush or stick or whatever you’re using like maple syrup.  Not too thick and not too thin.The results immediately showed a remarkable improvement.  It flowed and spread easily with no lumps that caused the two pieces not to fully close.  Another words not show any gaps.  By adding water to any glue your taking away it’s strength, but to render it useless would be to add too much water.

Remember you have to add water to hide glue but only enough to take away the lumps. I’ve set the pieces aside to dry and will check it in the morning.  It’s spring here, and it’s slowly warming up so I’ll see if it’s still holding strong in a weeks time.  I don’t have any reason for it not too.

You may wonder why all the fuss with fish glue as I normally use hide glue.  Well, to be honest it’s sheer laziness on my part.  The part about preparing hide glue and heating it up, OK I have liquid hide glue as well and that too is a pain as I need to heat it up and keep it heated to 140° F (60°C).  It’s easier to use liquid hide than regular hide because it’s open time is longer.

With fish glue you use it in it’s cold state just like regular glue and if I’m confident in it’s holding abilities like I am with hide glue, then I’ll make the switch.  So far this glue hasn’t let me down but I need to use it for a while to be certain of all it’s pro’s and con’s.

Final Thoughts

Is all this fuss really necessary? White glue and yellow glue work fine.

I think the fuss is necessary if your building fine items that’s going to end up in some antique roadshow or shop in a hundred years time.  I glue all my clocks with hide glue and furniture I built prior to clocks I used regular glue.  None of it was reproduction antiques except for the hotel I built for.

You have to ask yourself.  Are you building furniture that it recyclable or furniture that is exquisite and made to last?

In this modern age of consumerism, women mostly like to replace their furniture every 24 months and many would like to replace it every six months if they could afford it.  So when you think about it; do you really think it’s going to end up in some antique shop or someone is going to bother themselves to repair it? No, it will end up at the city dump like most items.

Like I said earlier, unless your building something extraordinary like a secretary, highboy, fancy clocks or you do veneer work, all this unnecessary extra expenditure on glue pots and paying the ridiculously high costs of both fish and hide isn’t worth it. Rather invest your money into timber or a new tool or even some video or book where you will learn something that will benefit you in the long run than on these glues.

You know how much I love these glues and I won’t stop using them, but the truth is the truth and there’s no point in deluding yourselves to think otherwise.


Categories: Hand Tools

Correction on wedge description

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 8:07pm

A few blog posts ago I mentioned Thomas Walker’s wedge design for the moulding plane and that was a slip of tongue as I was writing the first issue of the magazine and I was doing an article on Thomas Walker.  Thomas was a clock maker and not a plane maker.

What I meant to say is Thomas Mooney design, so I’ve adding this design in case you prefer to be more period of appropriate.

Please note for Metric users that all my drawings are imperial.  My tools are imperial and therefore I match my drawings to the tools I use.  I know metric is as simple as counting 1,2,3 but it is what it is.  If you really wanted too you could convert all the measurements yourselves.  In the machine world I guess it would matter and you may need to redraw everything in metric but in the hand tool we only use measurements as a guide and every other piece is measured against each other if that makes any sense.

WEDGE A4 Imperial


Categories: Hand Tools

Did you like Issue 2?

Fri, 08/25/2017 - 4:15pm

I would really like to get your thoughts, so I’ve created another poll.  I know most people don’t seem to like to vote, but it’s important.  So please just take half a second and click.

Take Our Poll (function(d,c,j){if(!d.getElementById(j)){var pd=d.createElement(c),s;pd.id=j;pd.src='https://s1.wp.com/wp-content/mu-plugins/shortcodes/js/polldaddy-shortcode.js';s=d.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];s.parentNode.insertBefore(pd,s);} else if(typeof jQuery !=='undefined')jQuery(d.body).trigger('pd-script-load');}(document,'script','pd-polldaddy-loader'));
Categories: Hand Tools

Free Plans for No.18 H&R

Sun, 08/20/2017 - 7:00am

Today I spent the day correcting the half set of the Hollows and Rounds plans.  In later issues I will write a step by step on how to make these wonderful moulding planes.  Like anything the first time around you may find it a little difficult.  I highly recommend you practice first with some pine and start off with the round.  You don’t need a complete half set, but if you can afford the irons it sure is a fun project to do and you’ll save yourself a few thousand dollars in the process.  Even though if you calculate the time spent each plane will cost you the same as if you bought it new.

The plans are in PDF format so you can print them.

18 round A3 Imperial

18 hollow A3 Imperial


Categories: Hand Tools

HANDWORK Vol.1 Issue II Out Now

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 7:00am

HANDWORK is an amatuer woodworking magazine written for all amateurs and professionals alike.  It focuses on handwork and not machine work.  Its filled with modern and historical articles dating back as far as 1889.

Free to download from megasync Vol.1 Issue II


Categories: Hand Tools

New Title Locked In. THE LOST SCROLLS OF HANDWORK

Thu, 08/17/2017 - 4:42pm

THE LOST SCROLLS OF HANDWORK will be the new title for our magazine. I paid for it this morning.

All the words won’t fit in one line and would look silly if it did. So I will break it up and have “The lost scrolls of” on top of “HANDWORK.” So HANDWORK name lives on!

Where there is a will, there is always a way.

Tomorrow at midnight the second Issue will be available for download.  You may find grammar errors I may have overlooked, but I’ll get better at it as time goes by.

With any new venture there are always teething problems at first, but my aim is to evolve and mould it to be up there with the best.

I’m always on the hunt for contributing authors. Guys and gals don’t be shy. You may think you have nothing to offer but you’re wrong.  As of late, more and more hand tool blogs have come to life.  Only a few months ago blogs were diminishing and all the marketing gurus had their say about it, but much to their surprise the tide has changed.

Hand tool woodworking has become more popular than machine based woodworking.

The movement for a change of lifestyle and pace has begun.

This revitalisation of hand tools was first introduced by Roy Underhill over 30 years ago, and from it, sprung a variety of craftsmen and women like Mary May, Peter Follansbee, Christopher Schwartz, Paul Sellers and way too many other names to list.

Can I mention little old me with HANDWORK oops, The lost scrolls of HANDWORK.

We’re all playing a part in this revitalisation of hand tool woodworking.

It’s not just a revitalisation but a stance against all the corporate thuggery of so called modernisation and monopolisation of and through mass production.

If they want to title us as tree loving, hugging hippies then so be it. It’s better than the title they carry of cheap plastic loving, hugging, quick buck salesman “Made in China.” tag.

I hope you all like Issue II. A lot of work and many sleepless hours went into it, and I thank again all of our contributors for their hard work, expertise, tenacity, just pure relentless effort and diligence in their contribution towards HANDWORK.  You have not gone unnoticed.


Categories: Hand Tools

The keys to Success

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 5:31pm

Everyone has a desire to do something, to be something, to be someone.  You may not know this, but you have completed the third task the day you were born; You, are Someone.  Everything else has a long steep hill that needs to be climbed to achieve it.
Your desire to achieve this must match your discipline, but the problem with us all is that we want it yesterday.
You can’t have it yesterday nor today, but with every step you take towards it, you will earn it tomorrow.

Life is a giant staircase, you look up it and you think this is too hard, it’s too much work, but you don’t get it.  Life is hard and challenging and life loves to throw obstacles at you and many people fail to meet those challenges and work around those obstacles and fall into depression.  They seek the bottle for relief or take antidepressants.

Brothers and Sisters these are excuses and excuses are lies. It’s the easy way out to self destruction.

Obama once said “Pick yourselves up and dust yourselves off.”

Climb those stairs one step at a time, don’t look up and never look down but concentrate on each step and work towards the top.  You will never transform yourself if you don’t inconvenience yourself.  “No pain, no gain.”

Pick up a square and draw a hundred lines, now pick up that dovetail saw and rip a hundred lines.

Do you get it?

Plane that wood until its flat, plane that edge until its square, then plane it out of square and do it all over again until there is nothing left of it.

Set up goals you want to achieve today and work on nothing but those goals and I guarantee you at the end of that day, you will achieve your goals.

Free yourselves from the shackles of bullsh*t, don’t let the naysayers tell you, you can’t earn a living from the craft.  Don’t let your minds talk you out of
what life has to offer.  It’s all there in front you, you need to reach out and grab it.

Empower yourselves by being the best you can be.  Never ever give up, always work hard towards your goals and give back to the community.  Help one another, teach one another and serve one another.


Categories: Hand Tools

Final word on title

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 3:34am

After so many good suggestions offered I almost chose one until this one came to mind.

The lost scrolls of handwork

I also like quirks and beads and at the workbench but the lost scrolls of handwork is like the forgotten handtools which is exactly what we are trying to revive.

Let me know if you like it. I've already reserved the name but haven't paid for it yet.


Categories: Hand Tools

Re: I need your help

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 12:21am

Right off the bat thanks to everyone who responded.

Matt offered some really great ones and two stood out the most.

Planes, Chisel and Saw

And

At The Workbench

The first one is a title from a book my friend Tony Konovaloff wrote so I can’t use that, but it’s great and definitely complements what this magazine’s about

But I equally like At the Workbench and I’ve secured it pending payment which means no one gets it till I make a payment.

I’m still open to suggestions but so far this one seems to be the winner.

It’s a pity ASIC isn’t flexible in these things as HANDWORK is by far the most suitable title but we also work at the bench so it is what it is, but i know it will create some confusion for some people who are not in the know.

This post I’ve written on my phone at work so I’m sure there are some missing commas and periods which my friend Matt will pick up on. But I’m not a text addict like my daughters and if my life depended on it, it would be short lived.

Btw the second issue it’s title will remain unchanged. I’ve already begun work on the third issue.


Categories: Hand Tools

I need your help

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 1:56pm

I chose HANDWORK as the title of our magazine as it best describes what we do, but as I tried to register the name yesterday through ASIC they tell me a little old lady has taken this name.  Not only did she take this name she registered multiple spellings of handwork.  So, now I need another title for the magazine and I tried several others;

  • Handcraft – taken
  • Handkraft – taken
  • Handcraftd – taken
  • woodworking with hand tools – too long
  • woodspeak – available pending my payment

I personally like WOODSPEAK as a title, I think it's unique and we are speaking about wood and when we work our wood speaks back to us.

So what do you think?

Do you like it?

Do you have any other names that would be a better suited title?

Lets brainstorm together, I only have a few days to register that name.

One more has been added to the pending payment list and I think this one is pretty good also

"BenchWork". That title pretty much covers everything we do.

 


Categories: Hand Tools

Review from Woodcentral on HANDWORK

Sun, 08/13/2017 - 11:37am

I’m speechless, gob smacked, never saw it coming.  I’m honoured and humbled.

REVIEW FROM WOODCENTRAL


Categories: Hand Tools

Issue 2 release date

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 4:52am

HANDWORK Issue 2 will be available on Saturday August 19th.  There will be over 90 pages of quality reading materials, a little bit of everything and I also added an index page. I’ve been working on it for 18 hrs straight and by God I did it.  I nailed it. I hope you all like it.

I’m off to bed.


Categories: Hand Tools

Issue two update

Mon, 08/07/2017 - 6:22pm

I may have worded it wrong in my previous post concerning iTunes. Handwork won't be solely available on iTunes. I want to expand it to iTunes for people who use iPads. Handwork will continue to be in PDF format, and whilst many mac users don't know this, they can download any PDF file and then import it via iTunes. This PDF would be located in your iBooks under the PDF tab. You don't need to download any app for this.

Having it available on iTunes is a desire but nothing concrete. If I can't figure out how to make the layout compatible with iPads without having to resort to two different layouts I'm not going to do it.

I have enough on my plate as it is. So it's all in the wind for now.

I know I have bitten off more than I can chew, but I'm working on it and will succeed. I'm not going to let anyone down, I won't fail you.


Categories: Hand Tools

Issue II Coming Out Soon

Sat, 08/05/2017 - 10:12pm

You may be wondering or not why I’ve been so quiet lately.  Well, I’ve been very busy writing and compiling articles for the second Issue of HANDWORK.  With Issue 1 still being downloaded and I’ve stopped counting on the 7th thousandth download and not to mention all the positive emails I’ve received, I’m hoping the second Issue will be even better than the first.

I never thought in a million years I would take upon myself such a challenge.  I absolutely take my hat off to all the woodworking magazines out there who has been writing wonderful articles for decades.   There is so much behind the scenes work that goes into these magazines that it’s beyond anyone’s imagination.

I would like to thank in advance Matt McGrane for volunteering  as a contributing editor. If you see grammatical errors they are from me and not from Matt as I’m under time constraints to get this done as not all of the articles made their way to Matt.

I would also like to thank Greg Merritt a contributing author of two great articles.  The pressure was really on Greg when his computer froze and he lost all his work, but none the less he soldiered on and delivered.  Greg you’re not alone, the same thing happened to me a week earlier.  Bloody windows!

I also want to thank you, my readers for all your letters of support and compliments you’ve emailed me.  I’ll be including randomly some of them  in the magazine.

There’s still some further changes I would like to make and a lot of proofreading, photo editing, design layout but it will get done.  In the coming weeks or months I’m planning on having it itunes ready.  It’s a big learning curve for me but I believe in time HANDWORK will evolve to be bigger and better.

I’m hoping in the next week or two the latest to have it uploaded for you to download. So please spread the word and tell everyone about HANDWORK.

Matt how many errors have you picked up in this post? Be lenient I just finished a 14 hour shift.

Take care everyone. Cheers from down under!

 


Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Plane No.10 Round complete!

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:17pm

I shaped the iron, heat treated, sharpened it to a razor finish and did it within two hours. Considering how long it took me the first time, experience and speed has finally kicked in.

I’m very pleased with the outcome, she’s planing and ejecting shavings like a dream.   The mouth opening is 1/32″ which I’ve returned back to my original idea and not intentionally but just by accident. Still it allowed thick enough shavings to go through without clogging. All that’s left to do now is to put a couple of coats of finish and use that as the mother plane for the hollow.

I found a neat little trick to shaping the iron, initially I shaped the iron on a grinder keeping it at 90° but the bevel I did with a file, just like our ancestors did and with all their plane irons to re establish their bevel .  If I used the grinder to establish a 25° bevel and refine the shape I would’ve taken too much from one side or the other.  With a file I took small amounts resulting in a more controlled shaping process.  The grinder hogs off a lot of material throwing you off everytime until you get it right, but that is time consuming.  The file seems like a slower process but it actually took me 20 -30 mins probably less to do it, that’s a saving of 2 hours work.

I could of given up considering how long I’ve been at it but I didn’t.  Hard work, persistence, obsession is the key to success, nothing comes easy.

IMG_0245IMG_0246IMG_0247IMG_0249


Categories: Hand Tools

What to expect in the new issue

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 9:29pm

Here is an excerpt a small part of what to expect in the new issue.  The magazine is far from complete but I thought I’d give you a teaser.

New and improved chip breakers

The purpose of the cap iron ie chip breaker is to deflect shavings, when setup close to the cutting irons edge, supposing to reduce tear out. Leonard Bailey introduced the curved cap iron to his thin irons to eliminate the vibrations which caused chatter. With the Bailey/Stanley versioned cap irons you can modify them to completely eliminate tear out altogether by slightly honing a small bevel on the front edge. The mouth opening no longer plays a part and you can safely even plane against the grain with no tear out, which eliminates the need for a scraper. With the modern so called improved version you can’t do that, I have tried and ruined the cap iron. The reason why toolmakers refuse to reproduce the Stanley/Bailey cap irons is due to the high costs involved in creating a hump in the steel. They need to renew their advertised claim of “new and improved chip breakers” to “new and not so costly to us chipbreakers”; if you have an old Stanley plane do not replace it with a thicker iron and nor the chip breaker with the modern one.

Here are my final thoughts I haven’t included in this issue.  The old Stanley planes are remarkable in every sense of the word.  Why modern day tool makers felt the need to change them bewilders me.  The extra mass in modern day planes is taxing on the body, their reasoning behind it is the more mass the easier it is to push through the wood, I personally cannot agree with this.  Whilst working professionally I used it all day everyday and with my bad back I could barely walk at the end of the day.  I refurbished an old record smoother last year and found myself to be less fatigued whilst using it.  The thin irons are easier to sharpen and quicker also as there is less metal to remove than the new thicker ones.  They are also easier to sharpen freehand than the modern day type.  The cap irons can be easily modified to plane against the grain eliminating all tearout while the modern day type cannot.

Lie Nielsen and Veritas and others that are coming on the market are high quality planes without a doubt but if I had to do it all over again I would make the switch.  I don’t wish to rub any toolmaker up the wrong way but the facts of practical use speaks for itself.


Categories: Hand Tools

Moulding Planes a real challenge

Fri, 07/14/2017 - 10:27pm

IMG_0244

I got night shift tonight I should of been in bed 3 hours ago and the results show on my no.10 moulding plane.  I can’t attribute everything to the rush but mostly to my own stupidity of not thinking things through properly.  I was too confident and lowered my guard much like the motorcycle rider who is still learning to ride, when he gets too confident that’s when the proverbial turd hits the fan.

I drew up the plans but I never made a top view which screwed me up because I got it wrong in the build.  You can see I broke through the lamination because the mortise isn’t centered.  Then I forgot how I carved the teardrop and on the blindside I planed more than 3/4 high.  The good thing is none of this affects the function of the plane, the round has a radius of 5/8 and the bed is flat, so the rest is just aesthetics.  The wedge turned out nice, I like that Walker design, its just unfortunate I stuffed up another thing I’ll have to live with.  All there’s left to do is to shape the iron and start on the hollow.  I’ll be using this round to shape the hollow. I won’t be starting any other projects until I really get a handle on these planes.  So far I’m already having a pile of commissioned jobs starting to pile up but I have said until these planes are out of the way your just going to have to wait.

I’m looking forward in doing a write up for these planes but I will do that when I’m absolutely confident I got it right.  It will be a pretty long write up because I think I have just about every mistake a person can make but no matter how much an author can give information not all of it is absorbed and it’s only inevitable you too will make the same mistakes.  But you learn from this and that’s priceless, no school can ever teach you what you learn from mistakes, no school can ever give you an indepth understanding you can from making mistakes.    But don’t knock schools for they are the greatest institutions in the world and every teacher deserves honour and respect.

Take care I’m off to bed.


Categories: Hand Tools

WIP HANDWORK Issue two

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 8:28am

I’ve just begun on Issue 2 and after much success of Issue 1 with a record download of 1500 and still counting, I’m hoping I can do an even better job in Issue 2.  HANDWORK has gained a fantastic contributing author Greg Merritt who will cover a great topic which I’ll leave you guessing till it’s out.  Brian and Joshua are another two great authors I look forward in working with again, their contribution towards the magazine are greatly appreciated.

Once more I do not have a timeline on when it will be released as I’m trying to fit this work in between jobs that pays the bills just barely and my shop time that consumes what’s left of my savings.

I’m also considering writing a book, it’s 1:23am and I’ve only just scratched the surface of my first article.  I will be getting up in 6 hours to do it all again, luckily for me I have a few days off work not that I can bloody afford to have a single day off work but I’m dedicated to this project, it’s a good thing and a worthwhile effort and the best part is you all enjoyed reading HANDWORK and that’s worth every effort.

Good night and take care.


Categories: Hand Tools

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