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The Part-Time Woodworker

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...just messing with a bunch of old hand tools and enjoying it
Updated: 28 min 34 sec ago

Time To Clean Out Some Duplicates #2...

Sun, 03/26/2017 - 8:43am
I cannot tell a lie, I do not have a duplicate of this saw, it is completely out of the timeframe I try to stick to for my collection, its purchase was totally an impulsive action, and I’m selling it because it is too big for my usual scale of work so I have rarely used it. It is also a pretty good saw.

I bought this saw from an old guy who was pretty cool for an old fart. He was a retired high school shop teacher and bought it new for his personal collection back in the early 1950s. He said he didn’t use it often, but when he did, it was a joy to use. He didn’t lie either.

This Stanley No. 39-124 Mitre Saw is a beaut, well at least the plate is. It seems to hold its edge very well, it is straight and true, and does not have any rust or pitting that I can see. The 30” plate needs a little touch-up sharpening now as I have never sharpened it over the 12 years that I have owned it, not that it got used that much. I did use it quite a bit when I installed some crown moulding  for a friend. Man, it is a gorgeous piece of kit for a job like that. I don’t think the previous owner sharpened it too often either, as it is exactly 6” high from tooth bottom to back bottom, the same dimension etched into the plate – 30” x 6”.

The handle is a replacement I made from apple wood right after I bought the saw. The original handle taught me how Stanley transitioned from making great tools to making junk. They started with the handle. Man, was it a primitive, cheap looking thing, and not up to par with the plate at all. I actually commented to the original owner about it and he said he always wanted to make a new handle for it but never got the time. It was my first crack at making a saw handle, and while it isn't as nice as my recent two examples, it isn't bad. The stock I used was a tad thicker than the original handle, and the round-overs are actually round, so using the saw with this replacement is considerably more comfortable than if I had left it alone. It has been coated with who knows how many coats of shellac, but I have to admit that I didn't have the patience with finishing 12 years ago that I seem to have now. It is nice, but with a bit more sanding, it could be really nice. I never had any qualms about the user-made handle as this saw will never be considered a true collector's piece. It is and always will be just a nice user quality piece. See the photos to see the quality of the existing handle and you will agree with me that with a little finessing, but not much work, you could make it better.

Please view all the photos of the saw to confirm its quality.

Selling price is $70 (CAN) firm.

I will charge the purchaser exactly what the Post Office charges me for shipping, with no additional charges for shipping materials or my time. If you are in the Greater Toronto Area, it is possible that we can happily deliver it to you personally at no charge. 

I will only accept PayPal for payment.

I added a Coke can to this shot
to give you some perspective
regarding this saw's size.
It has a super clean plate with a clear etching.
The second side is as clean as the first.
This photo is trying to
show how straight
the plate and
back is.
It's a good looking saw...
...from any angle.
It still shows a super-strong etching.

Ok, my lamb is a little mute.
It isn't talking to me from this side either.
This was in the piece of Apple Wood that I made the handle
from. It does not go all the way through the horn. I liked
this, which is why I made sure it was included.

Let me know if you are interested in purchasing this saw at mitchell@liquiddesigns.ca


Billy Mitchell

Categories: Hand Tools

Rasps, My New Fixation...

Wed, 03/15/2017 - 7:58am
I can across this video this morning and found it both entertaining and informative. I have a couple of Auriou Rasps and I'm looking to buy a couple more. If you think one rasp is as good as the next, think again.


Categories: Hand Tools

Time To Clean Out Some Duplicates...

Mon, 03/13/2017 - 3:22pm
For Sale - Stanley No. 3 Woodworking Plane - Type 9

  • Overall, the plane is in very good condition with no fault that will take away from it’s ability to surface stock.
  • It isn’t a collector’s piece, but it is a very good user.
  • There is about 85% of the japanning left on the body.
  • The blade has plenty of meat left on it.
  • The tote is solid, with good colour, and quite comfortable to work with.
  • The knob is comfortable, with good colour, but it does have a surface crack running almost its full length with some bits missing around it’s bottom, a common issue with these earlier planes because they lack the protective ring that were casted into the bodies of Stanley’s newer planes.
  • The frog is whole, has a properly working depth adjustment, and while stiff, a properly working adjustment lever.
  • The sole has some staining and minor nicks that a 110 year old plane should have.
  • The vertical edge of the sole’s heel has some roughness to it but it appears to be from the original casting.
  • The mouth is a little rough along it’s forward edge, again appearing to be a result of Stanley’s casting.
  • The keyhole in the lever cap also has some roughness to it, a result of some misuse in the past, but it does not effect the plane’s performance or useability at all.
  • This is a Type 9 plane.
  • Please view the photos of the plane to confirm its quality.

Selling price is $75 (CAN) firm.

I will charge the purchaser exactly what the Post Office charges me for shipping, with no additional charges for shipping materials or my time.

I will only accept PayPal for payment.

This phone was originally purchased to use as a cell phone dock, but the larger phone I am using now no longer fits it, so it is time to let it go, given I have a couple of them. I did use this plane a number of times after retiring its dock job, and it quickly became my go-to plane, rather than using a No. 4 or 4 1/2, manly because of its smaller size and lighter weight. This is a great little plane in excellent user condition.

Stanley No. 3 - Type 9
Stanley No. 3 - Type 9
Stanley No. 3 - Type 9
Stanley No. 3 - Type 9
Stanley No. 3 - Type 9
The Body is solid and has about 85% of its original japanning
Both sides and sole have been mildly lapped
to ensure they are flat
Both sides and sole have been mildly lapped
to ensure they are flat
Both sides and sole have been mildly lapped
to ensure they are flat
The mouth is rough from the original casting. There is a small
chip on its leading edge but it does not effect the plane's performance
The lever cap does exactly what it is supposed to do
The lever cap does exactly what it is supposed to do
The blade is close to its original length
and is free from heavy pitting
The knob has some issues, but none that effect its
performance. There is a surface crack on the
backside of the knob and as you can see
in this photo, some bits missing around
 the bottom, mainly due to no
protective ring in the body casting

This was the original purpose for purchasing
this plane - to use it as a cell phone dock.
It worked great!


Categories: Hand Tools

How Do I Spell Filletster? C - O - O- L...

Tue, 02/21/2017 - 12:51pm
I have always been leery of Facebook and I didn't take the plunge with it for years. Finally, I jumped and while it was great keeping up to date with friends and relatives, I still tended to go back every few months and delete whatever I could find that I had posted previously. Paranoid? Probably, but who ever said I was rational?

After Donald Trump won the election, however, things very quickly changed. I'm not going to get into a political discussion here because my political affiliations and beliefs are none of your business. I do have to say, though, that after that election, I suddenly discovered that many of my friends and relatives were crazy. Many had gone completely crackers. A couple of my relatives have IQs of a gazillion or more, but it seems that their intelligence was unable to help them cope with the loss of their beloved Democrat, which made no sense to me at all, because they are Canadian, for God's sake. When I had finally had enough, I stopped going on the site, then about a week later I went on and tried to delete my page.

Did you know you can not delete your Facebook page? Nope. You can make it "Inactive", but you can't remove it. I also discovered that the content of my deactivated page suddenly became searchable on Google. Before I deactivated the page I never had my own Facebook content appear as a hit in a relative search, but after the page was deactivated, my past research postings suddenly became search hits. Crazy, no?

So I deactivated my Facebook page and three or four days later I did my usual start-off-the-week Google search for tools made by H. E. Mitchell. A hit came up for a Filletster Plane that was made by Mitchell, so I quickly hit the link and found myself on Facebook reading a flag that said, "Welcome back, Mitchell. Please sign-in to proceed." Damn! So I signed in, looked at the posting for the plane and contacted the seller to see if he would be willing to ship to Canada. He was, I paid, he shipped, I got, and I have to say, it is a pretty cool looking plane...

Filletster Planes are specifically designed to cut rabbets or half laps, and come in two styles. The first is the Standard Filletster. This style of plane has an integrated, fixed fence that is part of the plane's body. The second is the Moving Filletster, which involves some pretty specific criteria to be met if the plane is to be called this. The plane must have a skewed iron, a flat sole, a moveable fence and an adjustable depth stop. The fence can be held and adjusted using two screws that run through the fence and into the body of the plane, or an armed fence, similar to those found on a Plow Plane. My latest plane purchase, with the screw-type fence,  has all four of these features so it can properly be called a "Moving Filletster Plane".

My Filletster Plane does have some issues, the main one being a missing Nicker Blade and Wedge to hold it. I going to have to research what style of Nicker Blades Mitchell used because this example has a bit of a strange setting. The slot for it that runs down the edge of the body just in front of the iron is 1/4" by 1/2", the 1/2" dimension running front to back. The exit of this slot on the sole of the plane is 1/8" by 9/16", the longer dimension running from side to side. Weird, eh? It would make more sense to me to have those dimensions turned 90°, so it is going to take a little research to figure out what kind of blade to make.

Another problem with the plane is the Escapement. It looks like someone wanted to make the throat a little deeper so they went at it with a tool that was definitely not suitable for the job. It is going to take some real patience to get that cleaned up.

Other than those two issues, it is a damned nice plane. The grain of the body is straight and clean. The blade is completely useable, and the fence and depth stop work like a charm.

The plane was probably made around 1890 to 1900 as the maker's mark includes the Trade Mark lion, something Mitchell didn't have on his mark until that time. I am also curious about the depth stop mechanism. While there are some slight changes, the overall shapes and the way those shapes work together on my plane are very close to being the same as those shown in the photo below, especially the fact that both mine and the one in the photo have a 1/16" slice of steel covering the bottom of the depth stop foot. Was there a company out there suppling parts like these to plane makers, or did one maker blatantly steal the designs of another maker, without bothering to hide the theft?

Most importantly for me though, is that happy stamp of the nose of this thing...



Categories: Hand Tools

My Old Friend Called...

Tue, 01/10/2017 - 3:32am
I am backing off my complaints about Lee Valley's proprietary restrictions that I encountered last week when I tried to purchase some plane parts.

Carol Litwack, Assistant Manager, Customer Service, Lee Valley Tools Ltd., called me late yesterday afternoon and politely explained to me why I could buy a short Norris Blade Adjuster, but not a long one. Simply put, they don't make them and they just don't have enough to go around.

She was also quick to point out that the run-around that I got last week from three different Customer Service Reps shouldn't happen again. Ms. Litwack explained that she saw how the wheels fell off the bus during my first contact with Lee Valley about this purchase and she has taken steps with her staff to minimize the possibility of this type of thing happening again. She handled the conversation well, didn't over-do the sorry-syrup, and said all the things that mattered.

Ordinarily, Lee Valley has one of the best Customer Service programs I have ever seen, which is why it is such a shocker to me that this came up. This particular screw-up was a result of their representatives not understanding the situation fully, not getting a clarification and, once another rep got it sorted out, mistakenly thought that being straight with the customer wasn't the wisest move. In general, retail customers are often a royal pain in the butt, but even the worst ones can spot bullshite from a 1000-yards. Ms. Litwack was straight with me and I appreciated it.

I am still not getting a long Norris-type blade adjuster from Lee Valley Tools, but now I know there is a rational reason for it being that way. 

I have taken my design a little further. While I can't define it completely until I have the blade and adjuster in, I have kicked the look of the plane up a bit. I am also thinking of adding a brass blade bed to it, as well as a brass sole, all for durability, but a little polished brass wouldn't hurt its looks, either.

Here is my version 2.0 for this Edge Plane...


Categories: Hand Tools

A New Project Results In A Goodbye To An Old Friend...

Fri, 01/06/2017 - 12:40am
I always have been able to find something of interest on the Lost Art Press Blog. This time it was a "make it yourself" post for a plane that I have been actually looking to buy these past few months - the Cabinet Makers' Edge Plane.

Stanley made their No. 97 Cabinet Makers' Edge Planes from 1905 to 1943, most of which are now selling for anywhere from $400 to $700. Just for comparison, Lie-Nielsen sells a smaller version of the 97 for $145. Stanley sold their original version for $2.20 in 1909, selling their 2 1/4" replacement blade for a whopping 45¢. 

Depending on the way the blade is situated, it is either a flush-cutting plane or a bullnose smoother. If the blade is set flush with the sole of the plane, it will cut flush all day long. Extend the blade a sliver, and it becomes, according to Christopher Schwarz, a great smoother for blind rabates and stopped chamfers.

I spent a great deal of time these past couple days studying every video I could find on this style of plane and once I figured I had a reasonable idea of how it worked, I set out to design my own.

The original Stanley used the same type of blade adjustment as their 220 block plane, but for mine, I think I'm going to go with a Norris type adjuster. I'm planning to use the same type of lever cap, though. The only other major difference is that my body will be made out of a nice hunk of Rosewood, rather than a casting. This is just a rough layout for this plane, as once I get the 2" blade and the adjuster in my hands, I'll be able to take it further.

To get the required parts, I turned to my usual supplier for all things toolie; Lee Valley. They have 2" lever caps that they use on their Low Angle Smoothing Plane, but they are not listed in their online store so I emailed them to ask if they would sell me one. Whoever I was dealing with said she would speak to the powers that be and get back to me, which she did, telling me they would sell me one for the crazy low price of $14. I was more than pleased.

Originally, I had planned to purchase their "Wooden Bench Plane Hardware Kit", which includes a 2" O1 blade, a short Norris adjuster with seating cap, and the necessary items needed to make a wood lever cap, all for $56, but I noticed a glitch with the adjuster. With the design I was looking at, the short adjuster was just too short. If I used it, I would have to cut away too much of the body to give room for my fingers to get at the knob, so I emailed them again asking if I could purchase their longer Norris type adjuster, the one that they use on their 5 1/4W Bench Plane. This is when the ball of string started to unravel.

Basically, they said no, you can't buy a long one because we have no record of you ever buying a 5 1/4W Bench Plane. I was half expecting this as I ran into their proprietary issues when I was converting an old Delta water stone sharpener into a dry sharpener. This, however, was worse as they were telling me that there was no issue selling me a short adjuster, but damned if they were going to sell me a long one. If I wasn't so pissed, I would have laughed. I told them to basically shove it.

I ordered a Lie-Nielsen 2" blade and bought a Norris type long adjuster on eBay. I also found a couple of lever caps that would work, but I decided to make my own from some brass stock, just to say I have done it. Once the blade and adjuster come in, I'll be able to finalize the design and get to work cutting a hunk of Rosewood that I actually bought from Lee Valley a few years ago. I also bought a package of oval headed brass screws from them as well, one of which will work to hold down the lever cap.

Am I being too bitchy about this? Maybe, but if they could tell me I never bought a 5 1/4W Bench Plane from them, they could also see that I have been a customer of theirs for decades and that I haven't been shy about spending my money with them. It would appear that my loyalty and spending were only worth a short adjuster to them as it appears they are saving their long ones for their real high rollers. Their loss, not mine.



Categories: Hand Tools