I’ve recently been getting a lot of questions regarding whether or not I sharpen my jointer and or thickness planer blades myself. And my usual response is “I don’t do it myself” if anything I send them out to be sharpened.
There’s a whole list of reasons why, but at the heart of it is because I don’t want to risk messing them up and I’d rather be doing something else.
But this got me to thinking perhaps maybe I’m completely missing something? So this raises the question what do you do?
Our newest Spring/Summer 2013 Highland Woodworking catalog is now published and is hitting mailboxes around the country. But if you don’t subscribe or haven’t gotten yours yet, you can easily access the full catalog on our website HERE.
Unlike our past online catalogs, the Summer 2013 catalog is now able to be viewed by iPad and iPhone users as well! Just go to the catalog website and the full catalog will appear on your screen. You can flip through the pages with the arrows, just as if you had it in your hands.
If you just love that feeling of being able to highlight or mark up your catalog, and haven’t signed up to receive the physical catalog by mail, you can do so HERE.
The post Spring/Summer Highland Woodworking Catalog now online with New Features! appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
However, I didn't like the use of blue tape...messy, sticky and a bit impractical, so I've taken the concept a stage further. Delving into the oddments box, I came across some lengths of ash and machined them to about 6mm thick and 20mm wide. I then used a 6.4mm router cutter (1/4" to the enlightened readership across the 'Big Wet') and made a slot up the middle of each... then lop off one end at 45deg.
They're used for transferring, or measuring internal dimensions. Simply slide the two bits together till the square ends touch, tighten the butterfly nuts and remove the sticks by turning anti-clockwise...the sticks won't work if the ends are left square as they can't be removed.
In fact, so clever is the idea that I decided to make a second, smaller pair...
... shown above.
With all the various bits laid out, there's a large combination of sticks that can be assembled to measure just about any dimension.
If that's not a cunning plan, I'd like to know what is...
When I first got my Japanese moving fillister plane, it was in pretty good shape overall. There was some slight splitting of the body of the plane near where the cutter comes over to the side. There are other Japanese planes where the cutter comes over to the side, and this is a fairly common place for the body to split in these types of planes, since the wood becomes so thin in that spot.
One of the things I needed to do was to flatten the sole. Over time, the body of the plane had moved so that there was a significant convexity to the sole of the plane. When I got the plane, the sole was out of flat by nearly 1/16”. I addressed this by disassembling the plane and rubbing it on a piece of 100 grit sandpaper on a granite plate. As I worked on the sole, this is what I saw, to some surprise.
There was a clear wear strip about 1/4” wide along the edge of the sole in front of the mouth of the plane. The edge of the area of wear is quite distinct, and I could feel a small step in the sole of the plane between the area that I had sanded and the wear strip.
Af first, this puzzled me a little. It seems to me that one reason for having the adjustable fence on this plane was to make it easy to plane rabbets or fillisters of different widths. If that was the case, then there shouldn’t be a sharp edge to the wear strip, since the fence would have been variably positioned over time.
What I think happened with this plane was the woodworker who previously used it needed to make rabbets of a specific width, so he set up this plane to do this task, and left that way. That resulted in the wear strip seen here.
There are parallel situations with western planes. In a drawer, the grooves that hold the bottom in place are often a set width and distance from the edge of the board, and woodworkers are known to have taken a Record 043 and set it specifically for this task.
Japanese moving fillister planes are often made with a brass inlay along the edge of the sole to prevent wear, and in fact I have seen pictures of this type of plane with the brass inserts more often than not. My plane is a bit unusual in that it doesn’t have a brass strip. This wear pattern is a clear indication as to why a brass wear strip would be useful to have.
But I love the fact that it’s a wooden plane through and through.
Recently I have been out on vacation, working vigorously at my day job, and building cases.
Vacation was a nice break from all work – both house and day job. I was able to roam the streets of San Francisco and spend some time with my favorite piece of plywood.
While in San Francisco I was on a mission to buy clothing that is made in the good ol’ USA and of high quality. I picked up a few things but one of the best parts was interacting with some of the manufacturers. It was great to see young people passionate about their product and how it ties into life.
After that I headed to Colorado to go snowboarding. I do this a few times a year to ensure my adrenaline fix is met. I really enjoy not knowing if I am capable of performing a task but going for it anyway. My snowboard, Never Summer, also made in the USA.
Now I am home and I have been toiling away building cases for my home. I have never built cases like this before so it has been quite enjoyable. I started with the hall closet. It is about 2 feet deep, 7′ wide, and has a 3′ door opening. The design was to build floor to ceiling shelves on the sides. I started out by bringing home about 12 sheets 8′ x 4′ plywood. First off – these huge sheets are a huge pain in the a** to handle.
I first cross cut them to size with my festool track saw. I am sure this is perfectly easy with a sled and standard saw but the track saw makes it very easy. Once the pieces were cut to length I went to my little table saw. I planned it so the sides and back were the same width. I used the table saw to get everything to the correct width – This was a two person job at times because handling a 4′x4′ sheet of plywood by myself seemed a bit sketchy and dangerous.
Here are the cases prior to being fully installed.
Once I had all of the pieces cut to size. I used a simple T-shaped jig to cut the dados and rabbets with the router. I made a dado for the middle shelf and rabbets on the top and bottom of the side piece. I then rabbet the back of the side piece. This was so the back and sides were all the same width – time saver / manufacturing approach. Once the routing was complete I cleaned up the “fuzz” left from the router with a chisel and screwed everything together. I did use a confirmat screw for the joining. I am not sure if these fancy screws were necessary but I used them any way. After the boxes were but together I used a block plane to flush everything up. I did feel a bit dirty using my nice block plane on plywood – but it worked and nobody saw me do it.
After the boxes were built I built a base. It is made of two layers of plywood. The outside box is joined together with pocket hole screws and the inside box is screwed to the outside box. I put the inside box in so that it would create a double rabbet corner. I then level the box with shims and screwed small plywood feet on to carry the load. I was uncomfortable with leaving it just shimmed beneath. Then I screwed the box to a stud. It feels solid.
The other box I built was to house shoes in my closet. Same basic construction but due to its width I used a center divider. I used pocket hole screws to join the dividers to the middle shelf. The box will rest directly on the baseboards.Once the cases are fully installed they will get face framed so there are no gaps between them and the walls. After that primer and oil base paint – white of course. Then off to the next project.
I did not glue and screw the cases together. They are just screwed, which makes me hope that this was not an error in which I am the one that gets screwed as they come apart.
More to come on the cases as the get installed. I am sure there are more hurdles I am unaware of.
On today’s show, we’re celebrating 6 years of Wood Talk, by doing absolutely nothing out of the ordinary! Today we’re talking about circular saw blades, liability insurance, cutting face frames without big tools, upgrading your chisels, planing thin stock, choosing a shop space, creating stopped dados with hand tools, and applying Arm R Seal over newly stained wood.
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Stefan sent in a follow up comment to our discussion about master woodworkers and titles from last week:
“That’s how I earned my master degree: 3 years as apprentice, 3 years as “Geselle”(no english word found). 1 year master school, ending in theoretical and manual (skill) tests, with the grand finale, designing, calculating (cost, material and time) and manufacturing of the masterpiece. Now I was allowed to carry the title master and got a nice document to hang on the wall.I thought you are interested, how its handled in other countries, in this case Germany.
Living now in Los Angeles and struggling with the language I listen and learn a lot from you guys.”
For the rest of the shownotes including any links, voicemails, and emails; along with contact information and downloads for today’s episode, visit www.woodtalkshow.com.
There are lots of ways to confirm that a carcase or sub-assembly is square, but my favorite method is to use so-called “pinch rods.”
Pinch rods are simply two pieces of wood that have pointy end bits. You put the pointy ends into two diagonal corners of your carcase. If that measurement matches the measurement of the other diagonal, your case is square.
There are lots of ways to hold these two sticks together, from splines to blue tape to a commercial product from Veritas. The best way, in my opinion, is to make a metal and wood assembly yourself. I first saw this sort of arrangement at Roy Underhill’s “The Woodwright’s School.” I was so enamored with them, that I decided to make some for myself and friends today while taking a break from an editing project.
I went to the home center and bought some 3/4” steel square tube (with 1/16”-thick walls) and some 1/4” x 20 thumbscrews. For about $12, I got enough metal supplies to build a dozen sets of these jigs.
Here’s how a friend and I made them:
Cut the steel tube to 7/8” lengths – you’ll need two of these bits to make a single jig. Deburr and dress all the raw edges. Drill a pilot hole in one of the pieces and tap it for 1/4 x 20 hardware (a very common tap size).
Mill up some wood. You’ll need something stable with straight grain. I used old heart pine flooring I had sitting in the racks. The interior dimension of the channel is 5/8” x 5/8”, so I milled up two sticks that were 5/16” x 5/8” x 30”. Two 30”-long sticks will handle most assemblies, but your mileage may vary.
Point the ends of the sticks and you are ready to assemble.
Some of the hardware I bought was covered in zinc, so I stripped that off with a citric acid solution. This greatly improves the appearance of the metal bits.
That’s about it. Sleeve the two metal bits onto the wood and engage the thumbscrew (make sure the screw is pressing into the face grain of one of the sticks instead of pressing into the seam between two sticks). You are done.
You can finish the sticks if you like, but heart pine makes its own resinous finish.
In my opinion, pinch rods trump all the other systems I’ve used for checking the squareness of an assembly, from measuring diagonally with a tape to using oversized try squares.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites
If you don’t like (or cannot) sharpening a marking knife, the new Czeck Edge “Super Kadet II” knife is likely the right choice for your tool chest. Based on the well-balanced and well-made “Kerf Kadet” knife, this version is like its older brothers with the addition of a tungsten carbide blade. Why a carbide blade? … Read more
I noticed a nice quality George II faded mahogany bureau coming up for sale in Sotheby’s Important English and European Decorative Arts sale in New York on the 24th of April, 2013.
The bureau appears to have been well cared for and to be in good untouched condition.
Unbelievably, two of the bails are on back-to-front (click and enlarge the main picture to see for yourself)!
It’s unusual for such an obvious faux pas to escape the notice of a prestigious auction house like Sotheby’s.
Filed under: Antiques, Distractions
Bandsaw beaders with hook
Bandsaw blades may sometimes seem a waste of good steel and indeed as an apprentice 45-50 years ago, we used to send them away to be sharpened many times over. Today they are all discarded for meltdown and that’s fine as the steel bands themselves degrade and become weak and tend to continue breaking past a certain point of cut work. I take a blade to make cutters and scratch stock cutters and scrapers every so often. They work well for that as they are about the right thickness and hardness if you use the back edge for shaping with a file or grinder. Here is another use that requires no grinding though. In about 5 minutes I can take a section from a 5/8” x 4 PPI bandsaw blade and make another type of ‘poor man’s beading tool’ in similar form to a scratch stock and the scratch stock can be used with different sizes of bandsaw tooth if you beg disused blades from other user sources. That said, keep it simple. This one can be adjusted quickly and easily to about any size of bead you want. Here we go:
Snap off a section of bandsaw blade a couple of inches long. If you bend-snap the section it will need flattening and this is done with one steel hammer in the vise as an anvil and second hammer striking from above. I snap right on the front, vertical face of a tooth
Take a piece of wood about 3/4” x 1 1/2” x 5” long (none of these are essential sizes) and cut out a notch from the end about 1” long and 5/8” deep with a tenon saw.
Mark a centreline along the stock using the finger as a guide.
Saw down the length of the stock through from narrow face to narrow face with a tenon. I go about 3” long. If the tenon saw is thinner than the body stock of the bandsaw blade, you may need to go deeper so you can part the two sides and insert the bandsaw cutter.
Insert the bandsaw cutter into the kerf and then adjust inside the kerf to get the angle best suited for a bead shape you like.
Drill a hole the size of the shank of a 3/4” long screw through one side of the saw kerf.
Drill a second hole smaller than the threads of the screw through the first hole and into the second half of the stock. This prevents the screw from splitting the wood so near to the end of the wood.
Screw the screw to tighten the blade within the stock.
Test the beading tool scratch stock on a scrap and adjust to size as needed. To use the tool, pull or push (or both alternately) along the wood, first passing lightly to get the exact course, and then more heavily to deepen in the cut.
Use sand paper to even out any discrepancy.
Round over the corner to complete the bead with smoothing plane or a block plane or just use coarse sandpaper to shape and sand to round as needed.
I generally run a tenon saw along the channel to complete the bead and crispen up the appearance both before and after sanding.
The post Minimalist woodworking – Another poor-man’s beading tool appeared first on Paul Sellers.
I woke up a few weeks ago to find the following two images in my InBox...
The sender didn't include his or her name, nor was there any text at all accompanying the images. Just the photographs.
After a quick look I knew this saw was made by ol' Henry, so I quickly replied with a "thank you" and asked if it was for sale. I didn't receive a response, which was disappointing, but at least I now have an image of an elusive saw made by H. E. Mitchell.
This is huge for me - really huge.
In all the years I have been searching for H. E. Mitchell tools, I have never seen a saw of his, even though he stated in all his advertising that he was just a "saw maker". I saw an outdated listing for one that sold in an auction back in 2005, but it didn't include a picture of it. All this time I had no evidence that the man ever made one. Then these showed up. Wow.
The maker's stamp on the saw dates it from 1865 or 1866. I say this for two reasons. First, it has the "Eastbourne" address and ol' Henry only worked out of Eastbourne from 1865 until he went bankrupt in February of 1868. He then moved to North Road in Brighton and started again. The other reason for dating it from these two years is that the stamp only says, "Mitchell". Henry realized that his stamp could be confused with other tool makers named Mitchell so in the later half of 1866, he added the "H. E." to it.
Whoever sent me these photos, I thank you very much. You really made my day - week - month. I may not have the actual saw, but at least I have photos of one to show that the man actually made them.
But as with all things in this world, choices must be made and consequences endured, so my maple syrup season has been whittled down to a couple of days of running out to the rig to check the fire, while tending to other business. It's the exact opposite of the way it is meant to be, which is an excuse to hang out outside for 8 hours tending a fire and watching the spring arrive. But, I needed to do it, even if it wasn't the ambling joy of burning wood and time together.
But that said, my efforts last season to improve my rig worked great and I was able to get more than a gallon each day that I boiled. Enough for me and my helpers.
Speaking of helpers, he are pics of Dan and Tim helping me split out parts for a class that I am teaching next week at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking in Washington state.
I set out to paint the chair blue, and I did, but the layering, and shellac (hint) shifted the color to the green
He made his "smarthead" shavehorse and made some updates and additions to the plans. It boggles my mind how pretty he makes everything. I wonder if his sock drawer is a mess.
I am getting very excited for the class at Kelly Mehler's where we will be building this project as well as forging blades, getting down and dirty with our tools and as always, having a ball.
I thought you might like these
Here stand three generations of shoulder planes. The first one is a sand-cast model ‘stuffed’ with some figured mahogany and the owner of this used an old blade reground to fit into the body. It works very well with the tap-adjust method used on pre-adjuster planes, and feels surprisingly comfortable to use.
My friend Caleb from Texas just asked me on Facebook about the difference between Preston and Record. The are both good planes, well engineered substantialI own both. The E Preston in the middle is a favourite and has very tight tolerances around the mouth opening. You don’t need a wide opening because most shoulder work comprises thin shavings .500” or so.
The Veritas I really do like too. This one is probably the plane I reach for the most in the everyday of life and the full width and longer sole means it trims the cheeks of tenons nice and flat and true.
Miter joints can be a real source of frustration. The pieces need to be the exact length and the cut surfaces need to be as close to perfect as you can get them. If they don’t look great right off the saw, use a shooting board and a plane, or rub the surfaces on a … Read more
The April issue of Wood News Online is out and ready to read!
In his column this month, Steve Johnson, our Down to Earth Woodworker, continues his metric conversion by talking finishes, and he discovers how easy it is to mix shellac using metric units! Steve also builds a magnetic stirring device, plans his next big shop project: a mobile sanding center, and gives us a rundown of the latest research he has done on ancient tool sharpening methods.
Jim Randolph is not a big fan of sanding, but in his Tips from Sticks-In-The-Mud Woodshop column this month, he has a few ideas for how to make it a less unpleasant task. We’ve also got a new shop from Bruce Herndon, some exquisite scaled furniture pieces from Ramon Gibbs, and Chris Adkins’ beautiful “Tree Box” carving.
All this plus much more, including some great deals and information on our upcoming 35th Anniversary Celebration, featuring Roy Underhill. Take a look inside!