Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

This is a collection of all the different blogs I (try to) read.  A whole bunch!  If you have any comments or suggestions feel free to use the CONTACT page to get a hold of me.  Thanks!

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Import planes-Part II

Paul Sellers - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 8:33am

I dismantled the plane after initially rotating it and and tumbling from tote to knob to get my initial feelings and it didn’t feely rattly, loose or anything different than say a new Stanley. In fact it did feel better than a Stanley. Two things stood out visually immediately and perhaps most might not see at first glance. The cutting iron was 3-4mm out of square. Not a big deal but enough to irk me. This then means that the cap iron (chip-breaker USA) couldn’t be set to the 2mm I prefer without shaping that out of square to match. Not a good choice. Issues like this happen with other plane makers and I did have this happen once with a high end plane too.

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The sides of the cap iron were slightly out of parallel so whereas one edge to end was square the other was out so I would have to align one edge to the edge of the cutting iron instead of just centring it as I normally do with my fingers either side. Irritating that’s all. Also, it is generally helpful to use the cap iron to confirm squareness to the cutting iron as you unite them. Not a big deal but just my thoughts.

P1160184

So for me it is worth taking a flat file to the offending side and filing it parallel and straight. A two-second job, that’s all.

The cutting iron is hardened well and takes an edge just fine. To really test it out I must use it for a month or so daily and then throughout the day. It doesn’t take much to make a good plane iron and I am not sure if any plane irons are hammer forged with drop hammers anywhere in the world in general any more. So basically, most of the makers order their steel alloys to a certain recipe and the steel comes in from rolled stock, which they then cut to length, grind, shape and harden. It’s one thing to take an edge and another to hold it keenly. Silly bench tests in magazines are, as with any experiment or test, influenced by some degree by the experimenter and often less accurate than they purport to be as they usually test for hardness alone and rarely distance tested at all.

P1160184

My first test for hardness is to file the outer edge of the pane iron. Here you can see the change in colour to the edge of the plane iron after I filed it from the cutting edge to the opposite end. The first 1 1/2″ (32mm) barely filed whereas the remainder did file just fine. This shows me that the business end is indeed harder. The iron was just a tad thicker than my Stanley iron from the 60s at 2.06mm whereas the Stanley was 1.86mm.P1160168

The plane weighed in at 3.13oz and the Stanley was 3.08oz, which I found interesting but the nylon handles might be the reason for this as they often weigh heavier than wood. Here you can see that the sole is thicker and this too would contribute markedly to the weight difference. P1160166Poorer refinement to the casting above the sole wouldn’t at all affect performance but it would take so little to take out the flaws had the worker decided too. The paint hides it just a little.

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This brass depth adjustment wheel worked just fine and the threads were really quite smooth all told. The split yoke just above worked fine too.

P1160186When it came to the flatness test with straight edge I was quite impressed as this was both along the length and across the width and with no twist, bow or buckle at all. So, so far so good at this stage. i have a gut feeling that this plane could be the answer for those looking to get started without spending masses of money to know if woodworking os for them. P1160185BUT…don’t buy just yet. I have some more to share about it that you may want to really consider first. Give me another couple of days.

The post Import planes-Part II appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Handworks 2015

Anne of All Trades - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 8:02am

Click here to read my Handworks 2015 roundup in Furniture & Cabinetmaking Magazine. For a handtool woodworker in need of a little more camaraderie and community in their life, this was the show of a lifetime, and future installments are MUST NOT MISS events. 

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February Tip #2- The Convenience of Safety Glasses

Highland Woodworking - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 7:00am

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift. Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip. It’s OK if you call me “cheap.”

You know how easy it is to say to yourself, “This little task is going to take only a minute, and my safety glasses are on the far side of the shop, I’ll just knock this out real quick.”?

The ultimate woodworker, the one we all want to be when we grow up made this saying famous by repeating it week after week on The New Yankee Workshop. We are wise to heed it.

The ultimate woodworker, the one we all want to be when we grow up made this saying famous by repeating it week after week on The New Yankee Workshop. We are wise to heed it.

You can buy safety glasses for cheap.  Position some around the shop so that they are never far from where you are working.

You can have one or two pair of really good goggles or safety glasses, and still have some of these for those out-of-the-way places in the shop that might tempt you to work without going and getting the good ones.

You can have one or two pair of really good goggles or safety glasses, and still have some of these for those out-of-the-way places in the shop that might tempt you to work without going and getting the good ones.

And, while you’re at it, place some small squirt bottles of Windex around the shop.  You won’t want to wear those safety glasses if you can’t see out of them.  Inability to see clearly is a safety hazard, too.

I have one bottle of Windex here on my metalworking table and another near the sink. From this table I’m not far from the vision protectors I use most.

I have one bottle of Windex here on my metalworking table and another near the sink. From this table I’m not far from the vision protectors I use most.

I have some really expensive safety glasses, because I believe our eyesight is worth it. They are prescription, so I can see really well. They stay clean and protected in their bag, and they reside next to the table saw.

I have some really expensive safety glasses, because I believe our eyesight is worth it. They are prescription, so I can see really well. They stay clean and protected in their bag, and they reside next to the table saw.

 replacement shields are available for this unit.

This is a moderately-priced face shield. I didn’t want to go so cheap that the shield would soon scratch or discolor and be useless. Another plus: replacement shields are available for this unit.

Click here to read Steve Johnson’s review of the Trend Airshield.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be sent to DrRandolph@MyPetsDoctor.com. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February Tip #2- The Convenience of Safety Glasses appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Clamp Question

360 WoodWorking - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 5:47am
If you’ve looked at most of my projects within the articles at 360 Woodworking (here’s an example), or heard us talk about clamps during one of our podcast, you likely know that I’m a big fan of pipe clamps. I do have, however, a few other designs in the shop. I have a couple of […]

Retailers for ‘The Anarchist’s Design Book’

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 4:08am

ADB_mockup_lo_1024x1024After a crisis involving the endsheets in “The Anarchist’s Design Book,” we are back on track with the production process and the book is expected to be released on time in late February or early March.

Just a reminder that if you want a pdf of the book included in your purchase, you need to order by Feb. 15. After that day, the pdf will cost extra.

We have started receiving orders for the book from our retailers. Here is who has signed on so far:

United States
Highland Woodworking in Atlanta.
Lie-Nielsen Toolworks in Warren, Maine.
Tools for Working Wood in Brooklyn.

Canada
Lee Valley Tools with stores in 15 cities.

United Kingdom
Classic Hand Tools in Suffolk.

Australia
Henry Eckert Tools in Kent Town.
Carbatec, with seven stores.

New Zealand
Carbatec in Auckland.

As more retailers sign on, we will let you know here on the blog.

A couple notes: We don’t know when our retailers will begin selling the book. Some offer it for pre-publication order. Some wait until they have the books in their warehouse. If you have questions such as this, it’s best to ask the retailer because we don’t know.

Also, many international customers have asked about getting the pdf with their purchase. We have created a mechanism that allows the retailers to do this. We now offer “dropcards” – a nicely printed card with a unique code that allows you to download the book securely. Several of the retailers are interested in the technology. But once again, it is up to them to decide to carry these dropcards or not.

One last thing: As of this morning, we have sold out about 75 percent of the first press run. If you are one of those freaks (I mean, book collectors), you have been warned.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

finish first then the......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 02/02/2016 - 12:51am
I decided the safe way to go was to apply the finish to the bottle box first and then attach the handle. I could attach the handle and do the finish but I don't want to get any on the brass rod. I want that to age and get a patina. They won't happen with a finish on it.

one side miters nice and tight
other side just as nice and tight
I'm very happy with this molding job
The miters right side up look just as good as the bottom view looked. I still have my ups and down with mitering but this one came out perfect. Now I just have to keep repeating this.

getting the spread top and bottom
The center diameters at the top are about 4 1/4" and that is what I'm going to use on the box.

hiccup on the practice run
My 1/8" drill bit has a misshapened head and as it is, it wouldn't make a hole in an over cooked noodle.  I want to test the handle in scrap wood before I commit to drilling for it in the box.

the 11th one was the charm
I have at least ten 3/64" drill bits. I stopped after finding this 1/8" one so I may have a few more of them too.

holes drilled with the gator jig
it looks good to my eye
The distance between the legs looks to be the same up/down and I'm leaving it at that. I'm not going to measure it nor check it with a square.

drill guide is toast
This hole wandered and is way off center. I want these holes to be reasonably straight and plumb. I drilled these holes on my drill press with this in a vise - not the result I was expecting. One is OTL (out to lunch) and the other straight and plumb.

marked the holes in the wrong divider
I want the handle to be in the divider that has the 'U' open at the top . The other divider's 'U' shaped half lap will be facing down holding the other one down. It makes sense to me that this will be a stronger connection for the handle.

the gator jig fits
I eyeballed this and I didn't think it would fit where I had to drill the 1/8" holes. I was wrong and I don't have to make another drilling guide.

the legs are long enough
I have a good inch plus into the divider which I think should be sufficient. There is plenty of room to get even my fat ham hock fingers on the handle and still clear the bottle tops.

it rocks no more
I had to get rid of some weeble wobble and it only took a few strokes with a plane here and there. This is the bottom and I'm not that concerned with this look. Who besides another woodworker would even recognize this as plane tracks?

clock parts cut to finished lengths and width
I have settled on a size for the dial board but that may change depending upon if and how much of the saw tracks on the back side I can remove. Even though it is the back, I want it to be as good as the show parts are. Tomorrow I'll thickness it and then I can get my final length and width for the carcass parts.

two of three finishing choices
Shellac is out as a finish because the bottles may be wet and that rules out that. I'm not that excited about brushing 2-3 coats of the spar urethane on this neither. That leaves this rattle can of gloss finish which I don't like. I like the spraying part of it but not the gloss finish look.

found my lacquer
This is what I'll be using for the finish. It is February first and at 1800 I was spraying the bottle box in my driveway. It was 62°F when I got home from work tonight. The temps are forecasted to roller coast up and down all week going from the 40's back into the high 50's. I should be able to get the finish on this and I do have a couple of weeks to do it. I'm not telling Mother Nature it's supposed to be winter and the normal temps are a lot lower.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What are you doing if you are xertzing?
answer - gulping down a drink quickly

more chisel work

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 6:27pm

rafter pocket

And geometry.

I started in cutting the rafter pockets/seats in the frame’s plates (the long upper timbers that connect the three posts on each long wall, and upon which sit the rafters). Most of these are 3″ wide, the ones at each end are reduced a bit, to 2″ to leave some wood at the end of the plate. Those outside rafters will be notched to fit the smaller pocket.

First, the simple bit, sawing down the 45-degree bits. This is the outside corner of the plate, where the rafter will sail past, overhanging the side of the building.

easy part first

Then you knock that bit out with the mallet & 2″ chisel. Easy if there’s no knots.

mallet work

Then pare that surface either flat or slightly hollow. Making sure the straightedge will connect the top & bottom limit of this flat.

paring

The next bit is the one that takes some time & finesse. I didn’t shoot it all – I was busy enough trying to cut it right. I got plenty of practice – there’s 9 pairs of rafters I think.

It’s a notch cut right behind the first angled bit, one plane parallel to the first, the other 90-degrees to each. And an inch &  3/4″ deep at its mid-point. Which moves around if your angles get sloppy. Here I’m paring the end grain of this section.

peak inside

Here’s one plate with its rafter pockets underway. I’m almost done with them now. I have one real devil, with a big knot, to go. And one of the end ones, which are reduced in width.

Pret laid out & cut the outer rafters today, 4×6 timbers, the others will be 3x6s. Here’s his first rafter sitting on the drawing of the plate’s cross-section.

we’re getting there, but there’s still a long list of stuff between us & raising. But each day it gets closer.


A dovetailed box, and a tool to boot…

The Slightly Confused Woodworker - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 5:58pm

This past weekend I had planned on getting in a fair amount of woodworking. The weather forecast was looking good, with relatively warm temperatures that would help to melt the blizzard of 16′. Thursday night rolled around and I wasn’t feeling so hot. Friday morning I did something I rarely do; I called out of work. Saturday I wasn’t feeling so hot either, but two things happened that turned out to be fortuitous. Firstly, the tap wrench I ordered from Amazon arrived, and secondly, a friend of a friend gave me an old Superior crosscut saw that was in reasonably good shape. Those two developments spurred me into the garage to see what I could do.

The first thing I decided to attempt was to build one of the “Paul Sellers” dovetailed boxes that I had mentioned in a prior post. I had some scrap wood that I had prepped which was basically ready to go. I stuck strictly (okay, pretty strictly) to the videos I had watched: using all hand tools and sawing the dovetails tails first. Some of you may remember my disastrous attempt at tails first dovetails a few weeks ago. This time I did much better, but there was one speed bump.

IMG_1811[1]
I grudgingly admit that gang sawing is a real advantage…

On one of the tail boards I noticed a very slight crack nearly smack in the middle of one of the tails. (the next box will be made with some decent boards) It was very fine and almost looked like a pencil mark. I didn’t think anything of it until I did the test fit. The joint was snug, as it should be, but when I knocked the box apart for glue up the little crack became a split about two inches long. I didn’t panic, or put my fist through the wall, I just sawed three inches from each board, re-sawed the tails, and thankfully they fit snugly in the pin boards I had already sawn. I had hoped to make it an all hand tool operation, but the bottom board needed to be re-sawn as well, so I reluctantly ran it through the table saw and got dust all over my wife’s car. I glued up the assembly, set it aside to dry, and turned my attention to something I hadn’t planned on in the least.

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My first “Sellers” dovetailed box. Hardly perfect, but not too shabby for my first attempt…

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After cleaning up the glue and a light sanding. Joints are pretty tight and the box was surprisingly perfectly square…

Last week I had mentioned the Lee Valley (Veritas) Spoke Shave kit I had purchased more than a year ago. I decided to give it a crack now that I had all of the necessary components to get going. I started by milling up a piece of maple to the specified size using the table saw and my jack plane. I then turned to the instructions for the procedure. As I had mentioned in another post, the instructions were not overly complicated, but they weren’t overly clear either, and the sequence of steps was not, in my opinion, laid out very well. I marked the blank as indicated, used the drill press to bore out the holes, and then came to the somewhat nerve wracking step of tapping out the threads. I had nothing to worry about, however, as that step was happily straightforward.

IMG_1813[1]
One of the tapped and threaded holes bored…

On a side note, I have a drill press that was given to me more than 12 years ago. As far as drill presses go it is nothing special, and I don’t say that in a mean-spirited way. But things are funny. Not long after I received the drill press my mom’s husband gave me something called a “drill press vise” which I promptly put on the same shelf in my garage where I keep the paint, and I hadn’t considered it since. When it came time to bore the holes in the spoke shave blank I was wondering what I could use to not only hold the blank perfectly still, but allow me to move it without taking it out of registration. More than twelve years after the fact that vise popped into my head, I used it, and it worked brilliantly.

Continuing forward, I beveled the front edge 4 degrees using a block plane (as the instructions said to do) and scribed out the recess for the shavings to escape. The instructions recommended using a hand saw to make a series of kerfs, whacking them out with a chisel, and cleaning it all up with a paring chisel and a file, so that is what I did. That sequence also went pretty smoothly. I then had my first hiccup. The iron needed to be mortised into the spoke shave to fit flush. I achieved a perfect fit on one side, moved to the other side, had a minor slip, and left a little gap. It doesn’t matter in the least concerning functionality, it just bothers me knowing that it’s there.

IMG_1814[1]
Escapement sawn out, front bevel in place…

The next step was fitting the iron to the adjustment hardware. Once again this was a bit nerve wracking, but it went smoothly. I was very impressed at the quality of the threads, as the hardware tapped into it very smoothly but solidly. The iron fit well, and I was able to take shavings on both walnut and maple easily. I left it at that, as it was getting late. The last construction step is to add the brass wear strip, and that step will likely be the most challenging, as the wear is fitted into 1/16 inch deep “dovetails”, counter-bored, then screwed and filed flush. It involves making a filing jig and doing some careful fitting. Thankfully the kit includes enough brass to make a second wear strip in case the first is damaged or miss filed.

IMG_1815[1]
Iron fitted flush and hardware installed…

IMG_1816[1]

So if all goes well I will hopefully have a new and fully functioning spoke shave by the end of next weekend. If not, I have a few more pieces of maple that will serve as blanks to start again. As far as that Superior hand saw I mentioned. I removed the blade and hardware and got it cleaned up nice and shiny. I did not get around to cleaning up the handle just yet. In any event, I won’t be posting any photos or writing about that process anyway. The most you may get is an “after” photo, because I can’t imagine anybody wanting to read the details of me scrubbing clean a saw blade, and I don’t want to subject anybody who is nice enough to read this blog to that drudgery. I’m a woodworker, not a sadist.


Categories: General Woodworking

Anchorage Makerspace

Alaska Creative Woodworkers Association - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 5:29pm
LOOKING FOR SHOP SPACE, OR THE USE OF TOOLS YOU DON’T OWN? The Anchorage Makerspace is conveniently located in midtown just off Spenard road, behind the TapRoot bar (which has its own benefits!). A Makerspace is a shop space for artists, engineers, craftsman, DIY enthusiasts and the tech-curious. We have two 1500 sq.ft semi-industrial bays which are available to guests on Monday open days 6-8 pm, and to members 24/7. Membership is $100/month and comes with full and unrestricted access […]

Honey Do-Dishwasher

Greg Merritt - By My Own Hands - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 4:49pm

The life of an amateur/hobbyist woodworker is fraught with perils that conspire to steal the precious little time that can be devoted to woodworking and furniture building.  If you happen to be married than the risk to that time is exponentially increased.  The dreaded “honey do” is always lurking just around the corner.  Almost always posed in the guise of a request, but the seasoned among us know better.  It is just such a “request” that has been taking up all of my shop time as of late.

The house that we purchased and moved into over this past summer was built in 1968 and designed by the original and sole owner.  As such, it remained virtually unchanged over the years.  There is no master bath and the bathroom and kitchen are essentially time capsules.  Lovingly maintained over the years, the house aged in almost pristine condition.    These “outdated” features however are what kept the house from selling.  Most folks looked at it and saw total gut jobs and tens of thousands of dollars in expense.  My wife and I fell in love with the details and those “dated” aspects are what drew us to this house.

All of the cabinetry in the house was built in place.  No mass-produced boxes installed anywhere.  The bathroom vanity and the kitchen cabinets were all built in place piece by piece.  They are nothing fancy, but solid beyond belief and have stood the test of time.

IMG_2985

The above is a photo of the kitchen as it looked on the day that we viewed the house for the first time.  Notice anything missing?  I didn’t at first, but the wife was quick to point out the lack of a dishwasher.  I told her to go and stand by the sink and I would take the picture again and solve the problem.  She failed to see the humor however, and my fate was sealed.

“Honey do” mission number one would be to install a dishwasher.

So after a couple of months pondering and putting off the inevitable the time came to tackle the dishwasher install.  The electrical and plumbing were not that big of a challenge, I can do that stuff in my sleep.  No, the big issue was the built-in cabinetry.  If the kitchen had standard cabinet boxes, I could have just taken one out and slid in the dishwasher.  These cabinets are a continuous mass running from the wall.  Cutting into them was a little daunting.  To make matters more complicated, the cabinets are 30″ “blocks”.  In other words, two drawers with two doors below are about 30″ wide.  A standard dishwasher is only 24″ wide.  What to do with the extra 6″ puzzled me for a while.  The epiphany came Saturday morning.  Since the front on the cabinets is just one large face frame, I could cut out a section and mover everything over 6″, frame, doors and drawers.  Then install a filler board where the cabinets meet the wall on the far right.

The gaping hole conundrum.

Version 2

I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow, but after not one, not two, but three trips to Lowes for parts and supplies I managed to install, with the help of my brother, a new sink, faucet and dishwasher.  Leaving me in good graces for at least a little while.

IMG_2111

Greg Merritt


Avoid This Disaster with Hide Glue

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 12:57pm

hidefix1_IMG_4473

The only time I feel like I’m a Deep South Bible salesman is when I try to convince people of the merits of hide glue. I’ve spent years honing my case for this glue, which is perfectly designed for furniture makers.

Among younger woodworkers, it’s an easy sell. But for people who have been using yellow or white glue for a decade or two, it’s typically hopeless.

And so I present to you these four photos that show one of the glue’s many merits.

Today I’m tidying up the carcase of a tool chest that is bound for a customer in two weeks. And I found an ugly film of glue that has squeezed out under the top skirt. I’d missed it because it had been obscured by the bar of a clamp.

No worries. I get a small bucket filled with the hottest tap water and fetch a toothbrush and a blue surgical rag.

hidefix2_IMG_4475

I apply some of the hot water to the glue and rub it in with the rag. These surgical rags (available via mail order or from friends in the medical profession) don’t leave lint behind and have a very slight abrasive quality. But they don’t scratch the wood.

hidefix3_IMG_4474

After about 30 seconds of rubbing, I switch to the toothbrush to make sure I get all the glue out of the corner. Then I dip the rag in the hot water anew, scrub the affected area and hit it again with the toothbrush. After a couple cycles the glue softens, then dissolves into the rag and the water. I dry off the area and I’m done.

There might still be a little bit of dissolved glue in the grain (which I cannot see), but as hide glue is transparent to most finishes, I’ve never had a problem.

This fix took about two minutes and there was zero chance of my gashing the wood with a scraper, chisel or shoulder plane.

By the way, this fix works on hide glue that is way older than I am.

— Christopher Schwarz

hidefix4_IMG_4476


Filed under: The Anarchist's Design Book, The Anarchist's Tool Chest, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Picture This LXXII

Pegs and 'Tails - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 12:49pm
Following on from Picture This LXXI last month, another brace of low-back Windsors has cropped up; however this pair bears no traces of paint. George III yew and elm low-back Windsor chairs, circa 1780. (Robert Bradley) Made of yew, with … Continue reading
Categories: Hand Tools

The Power of the Band Saw

Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 11:07am

No machine in the shop is more important than your band saw. It’s as simple as that if you build furniture. If you’re a cabinet maker, then you’ll pick your table saw or router. But for furniture, no machine can do all the jobs that a good band saw can do.

Notice I said good. A bad band saw is not worth the steel it was stamped out of. But a good one can rip lumber safely and with a smaller kerf. It can do joinery work, it obviously can cut curves and shapes all day long. It can also saw up logs, resaw lumber into veneer or laminations. It is as versatile a machine as we have.

Join us this Wednesday at 6pm for a lecture on setting up and tuning your band saw for use. It’s a must if you want to experience the joy that sawing with a band saw offers.

1-1-1-Snowflake2

 


Categories: Hand Tools

Dan Ravert and his work

Toolemera - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 9:20am
This is Dan Ravert. See Dan Ravert on Facebook. This is the kind of stuff Dan Ravert makes Dan Ravert carves and turns found wood. Which is a lot more than I can do. Till next, Gary
Categories: Hand Tools

FREE – Pull Your Top Down

360 WoodWorking - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 8:37am
In the past 150 years the building of furniture has changed. Not the designs. Yes, during those years we’ve travelled through Victorian (a period that few woodworkers even acknowledge let alone reproduce), Arts & Crafts (including Stickley, Greene & Greene and Mackintosh), and contemporary designs (Esherick, Maloof and Krenov), but for the most part, designs […]

3 Problems Woodworkers Encounter with Rabbet Planes

The Renaissance Woodworker - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 7:43am

I received a question from Chris about my wooden Filister plane that Philly Planes made for me. It was highlighted in the recent Pencil Box video and Chris was impressed at the results I was getting from it. He cited some problems he was having with his Veritas rabbet plane and was wondering if perhaps he should buy a traditional Filister like mine to fix those problem.

Chris is not alone and the problems he mentioned could be echoed by thousands of other woodworkers when it comes to these moving filister/fenced rabbet planes.

Problem #1: The Width of the Rabbet Shrinks

As you sink your rabbet, the plane creeps toward the edge and a stair step look develops pushing the plane further and further off your planned shoulder location.

Remember that once you set the blade proud of the plane body it goes out of alignment with the nicker blade. I would still advise striking a line with a square and knife first. Some old style Filister planes actually have the nicker a bit proud of the plane body as well and in this case you can align the nicker and the plane blade. Obviously the closer you can align these two blades the easier things will be, but the point to remember is that it is NOT necessary and it is better to have the blade proud of everything else to get a clean and consistent shoulder cut.

Problem #2 The Rabbet Floor isn’t Square

This is a big one. The floor of the rabbet sloped down toward the edge of the board. Usually the harder you try to correct it, the worse it gets.

Problem #3: The Depth of the Rabbet Floor isn’t Constant

What the heck is the depth stop for if I can’t get a consistent depth? Or you find that despite meticulously setting the depth stop you still have parts of the rabbet that are deeper.

Traditional Wooden Filister vs the Modern Rabbet Plane

So I hope you can see that the traditional wooden Filister and the modern Veritas are pretty much the same animal despite looking very different. Wooden planes in general I find to be easier to maintain a square cut but they can be fussier to set up than the modern versions. Certainly the collet lock mechanism on the Veritas keeps the fence square all the time whereas you have to be more meticulous with the wooden Filister. Personally I would choose a wooden plane over the metal ones because of the higher center of gravity and the ease of keeping the cut square.

Keep in mind that both of these planes are meant primarily for batch work where you set it up once and turn out a bunch of identical rabbets. So a fussier set up is ameliorated by quick and repeatable joints across several boards. For one off joints I still believe a fence-less plane will be faster and easier in use and also in set up.

But my penchant for fence-less planes is a topic for a future post

Categories: Hand Tools

Import Planes–Do/Can They Work?

Paul Sellers - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 7:37am

DSC_0661Of course most of the time we might pass them up, but look what would have happened had I passed up the Aldi chisels six years ago. Seemed to me I should give a couple of inexpensive planes a fair try to see how they did and so I bought two from B&Q. The ask was actually to post a video or two on upgrading lower end/grade mass-made planes to see if qualities were issues that compromised functionality compared to say the old Stanley and Record planes and then generally to see just how well the planes functioned. I bought these two by different manufacturers but made specifically for selling through the same outlet to look over and fettle and see what we could do. These two came from B&Q, a DIY home repair and maintenance chain here in the UK and something of the equivalent of the Home Depot in the USA. Not quite the same and somewhat different because we don’t build stick-frame homes with sheetrock walls for outer walls to homes and commercial buildings as is the general method of the USA and others following those patterns as standard.

P1160164Just to start out I opened the box to see what I had bought. The two planes arrived bubble-packed side by side and cost £10 (yellow handled one) and £20 respectively. If anyone had taken the yellow handled one straight from the box and tried to use it as it arrived it would have gouged the wood and ruined whatever was there. The blade was locked into the body with the centre setscrew cinched way tight, so I suspect set with a screwdriver as no leverage on the lever cam could have got it that tight as it could not be unlocked using the retractive mechanism of the lever cam. So, mixed message here. One, the lever cam is  for a quick set and then the setscrew is for locking in place. This very wrong! P1160170The second wrong signal is that the blade should protrude through the throat 3mm (1/8″) to cut. Very wrong again! The blade would best be withdrawn into the mouth for aspects of safety as well as to prevent damage to the work in hand, but it couldn’t in this case because the cap iron was set 3mm too far from the cutting edge so that adjuster was maxed out and couldn’t withdraw the cutting iron beyond the threads and the angle of the yoke that sets the depth.DSC_0671

To me, these things seem minor elements of training for the assembly staff in Asia. Three twiddles here, a minor tweak there and little eyeballing and the plane could have actually worked out of the bubble pack. I must admit though, this standard was set by Stanley UK back in the 1960s because that’s how their planes arrived from Sheffield.

I didn’t too much care for the heavy dip-coat of oil that by the time you catch it has gone everywhere but there was no sign of rust. The yellow nylonny handles felt comfortable to me and funnily enough I can’t always say that for wooden ones. In this case the mould seam left an exaggerated line that will need removal before use or a blister will come as result.P1160167

We will film the first plane this week and let you know how we go on. M gut feeling is the plane will work. How well I will let you know. I will say this. It definitely feels better than the Harbor Freight #4 I did the same thing to a few years back. U think that they have changed theirs from the rosewood handles to plastic now. They give you a block plane including in the $14 but that doesn’t even make a door stop never mind work.

More on this plane shortly.

The post Import Planes–Do/Can They Work? appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Portrait of A Man Who Must Not Sleep

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 7:01am

I have mentioned in the past that the quantity of hard facts we know about Henry O. Studley is so sparse that the only personality profile we have of him is his ensemble of the tool cabinet and accompanying workbench.  Anything more is at this point speculation.

A4HP1208_2

On the other hand I am acquainted with JimM a bit, I know we have met and chatted at an SAPFM meeting last summer when I was speaking about Studley and presenting a demonstration on replicating aged, historic surfaces.  I’d heard through the grapevine that he was replicating the tool cabinet as precisely as possible, including the contents, and we corresponded a time or two about details of the cabinet.c tool set

And then he sends me the pictures posted inside this blog entry.  Though I know the barest minimum of facts about JimM, I can see clearly from these images that this is a man who must not sleep much.

cIMG_2269

With this project JimM has set the bar very high for that multitude of you in the lignosphere who are equally captivated by the virtuosity of Henry O. Studley.

cIMG_2262

Well done, JimM!  As the monomaniac who completed his homage to Studley the first, I will have to think of an appropriate prize for you.

Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February Tip #1- Family Eye Safety

Highland Woodworking - Mon, 02/01/2016 - 7:00am

Welcome to “Tips From Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop.” I am a hobbyist, not a professional, someone who loves woodworking, just like you do. I have found some better ways to accomplish tasks in the workshop and look forward to sharing those with you each month, as well as hearing your problem-solving ideas.

I have often said that the most valuable thing I took with me from my time in the Air Force was a concept of safety.  I especially am reminded of it at the beginning of an electrical repair.  When I was an Air Force microwave communications instructor, we never entered an equipment room without removing our rings and watches.  Having conductive parts attached to your body when working in the bowels of electronic equipment is never a good idea.

Air Force Technical Sgt. Dominick Maters showed me this trick back in the 1970s when we both worked in Jones Hall on Keesler AFB. A Twist-O-Flex watchband and a wedding ring make a secure pair in your pocket.

Air Force Technical Sgt. Dominick Maters showed me this trick back in the 1970s when we both worked in Jones Hall on Keesler AFB. A Twist-O-Flex watchband and a wedding ring make a secure pair in your pocket.

When I turn on a grinder, I never do so until I have first protected my eyes.  Once, in college, I didn’t, and a piece of wire wheel flew out and embedded itself right in my left cornea.  Stupid.

Recently our youngest son sent a video of his own son sanding an axle for his Pinewood Derby car.  Without eye protection.  I was then inspired to purchase a potentially sight-saving gift for each of our four grandchildren, our two sons and our two daughters-in-love:  Eye safety for the whole family, regardless of age or gender.

Looking out for your children’s and grandchildren’s eyesight and safety gives a whole new meaning to “CARE” package.

Looking out for your children’s and grandchildren’s eyesight and safety gives a whole new meaning to “CARE” package.

Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be sent to DrRandolph@MyPetsDoctor.com. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

The post Tips from Sticks in the Mud – February Tip #1- Family Eye Safety appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

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