I have wanted to build a frame saw for years. I have no pressing need for one, and don’t know if I will use it regularly, but have always admired the graceful forms that some of these saws take on.
I am fortunate to have accumulated a variety of domestic woods over the years, and have access to even more. I thought of using black locust, ash, and a few others, but finally settled on beech. Strengthwise, it is comparable to ash and within spitting distance of most hickories and black locust. Although splitting or riving the arms from the log was my first instinct, I already have a large amount of straight-grained and quartersawn beech. It has been air drying for 18 months, and its moisture content is down to around 12%, so work can begin immediately.
With the wood chosen, I moved on to sketching out the arms. Almost everything I have drawn in the last few years has been done with a mouse and on a screen. While the computer has certain advantages, I dug out my old lead holders, French curves, scales, and eraser, and sat down at the kitchen table for this project.
The next several hours were very enjoyable, and reminded me of just how easy it is to get lost with a pencil and paper. The different feels of soft and hard lead on paper, sketching out and shifting lines, shading, and erasing – these all provide freedom from the mathematical constraints of computerized design.
To really understand why a tool has the form it does, there is no better start than to begin sketching it out. Try changing the shapes, curves, and proportions, and you will most likely learn that, for the most part, these shapes have evolved deliberately and logically.
As a case in point, my first sketch had the arms curving outwards. The shape pleased me, and I wondered why I had never seen it elsewhere. As I sketched on, I realized that the outward curve would force the tensioning string to slip down towards the stretcher. While the string can be held in place by passing it through an eye or around a nock, the better design uses the geometry of the curves to keep it in its place.
I finally finished this design in the early hours of the morning, and think it will be a good jumping off point. It will undoubtedly be refined (hopefully for the better) as I translate the sketch into wood. For now, the sketch hangs above my bench where I can glance at it throughout the day. Doing this is a good way for me to see it from different angles and through fresh (and sometimes tired) eyes, often revealing subtle imperfections and unfaired curves.
Since this is my first frame saw, there will be some missteps along the way. If anyone has some friendly advice or criticism about the project, I welcome your comments.
In a ebay purchase of tools I found a very old transitional plane in poor conditions. This plane (may be Union) was very like to the Stanley 122 Liberty Bell, planes made across the XIX and XX century. This planes are called "Liberty Bell" because have the famous bell engraved on their lever cap (is a screwed type lever cap) and tell us about a transition era from wooden to metal planes. They have a wooden body (frequently beech) but a metallic frog as well as the typical regulation systems of metal planes.
The plane lacked of blade, cap iron and lever cap and had the body deeply split in more than one point. The knob was damaged as well as its screw (cracked head). Moreover someone put several big screws (completely rusted) into the body, so I had to make some holes for eliminating any trace of metal.
Fortunately, the cast iron part was save, so I tempted a desperate recovery.
The action was radical: I sawed out the damaged parts and added a new piece of beech in order to have the right plane width. On the left side a beech patch was added for covering the holes I made.
Then I re-glued the body and chiselled out the seat and the cavity for the deep adjusting lever. A new sole was necessary. I used a piece of ash.
I used a woodie blade and cap-iron, so I had to move the threaded hole for cap-iron screw and create a slot for the deep adjusting lever.
The cast iron part was de-rusted with a vinegar bath and repainted with a black epoxy two-component varnish.
The knob was restored, as well as its screw: It was repaired by a welding.
For the lever cap I choosed of making a wooden new one and used a brass wing screw for it.
A color treatment completed the job.
Honestly, I thought this plane was good as firewood and my satisfaction was big when I saw soft shavings to come out from a hundred-year old plane.
Now this plane can shine again together with its more lucky sister!
I have been making and selling high quality knobs and totes for handplanes for a good number of years. During all that time I have held my price. If you read my 3 part series on making a tote you know that it is a labor intensive handwork task. Lately I took a close look at the time required to produce a knob and tote set and my costs for a set. The conclusion I reached was that I was buried under 5+ week backlogs continuously working 7 days per week for much too little net gain. So it was with great reluctance that I increased my price for a cherry or walnut knob and tote set to $55. I hope you all understand that this was driven by need not greed.
As always thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.
The title above is a joke about workbench height. I think workbenches can be almost any height – even 38” – depending on what you are doing at the bench and your tool set.
Here’s a confession: My back sucks. My dad’s back isn’t so good, either. But one of the most important and vibrant memories from my childhood is of my father. He was confined to bed so his back would heal, but yet he built, painted and finished an end table while in bed. That table is one of my most prized possessions.
In other words, don’t let your back alone dictate your work. You can work while flat on your back if necessary.
I like a low-ish workbench (28” to 34”). I find that it makes planing easier. When sawing, I use a Moxon/Felebien vise to raise the work to a comfortable level (a 17th-century trick). And whenever possible, I sit on a shop stool to work. I have an old Chinese stool that I sit on when I am chopping stuff that requires precision. Also when carving. Or when doing close-up work.
If you think this is a modern idea, then maybe you are a caveman. Early workbenches showed Romans working while sitting on shop stools. Why stand and bend over when you can sit?
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Workbenches
Yes another trip to the David Stanley tool auction! I couldn't resist a shot of this saw, a monster Stanley (no relation) mitre box saw, 30" long with a 6" deep blade. I was tempted to bid until good sense got the better of me!
I was really tempted by this craftsman made saw vice, a real beauty with large through tenons in the jaws and a wonderful brass and steel mechanism.
As I mainly use non resharpenable Japanese saws, again good sense prevailed and I kep my wallet closed.
This Lervad bench is a strange looking beast, although I've had one in the past and they work surprising well despite the narrow top. This one was in pretty good condition and will make someone a nice garage shop bench.
The best bit is the vice, a dog leg version with two non interfering support bars, great for dovetailing.
I had the pleasure of seeing some wonderful planes on Bill Carters stand. They weren't made by Bill but by a young man whose name I've forgotten, sorry! He doesn't intend to make them commercially as they take him too long to make, but if he ever did I'm sure he wouldn't have trouble selling them, the workmanship is superb.
Here's a copy of a one off Norris plane that passed through Bill's hands, it has a skew mouth and was faultless.
A pair of thumb planes made 10 years ago, not to the same standard but still very good especially for a first attempt.
This was probably my favourite, an improved pattern mitre plane with a minutely tight mouth and invisible dovetails.
Another great visit and the international auction is coming up at the end of March.
Disston & Sons D8: 26 inches, 4.5 pts, filed rip with 0 deg. rake, c. 1900.
$175 includes shipping to Con US and one free sharpening.
This is a very comfortable D8 rip saw with the famous Disston thumbhole handle. An aggressive saw great for ripping soft through medium hard woods like pine, fir, poplar, walnut and cherry. The handle is exceptionally smooth and sculpted…these earlier D8s have much nicer handles than the later ones, which became boxy with sharp, blister inducing transitions. I have made a small repair to the upper horn (pictured below) using apple and coloring it to match the patina.
Fully polished and waxed blade, freshly filed, razor sharp and ready to work!
To purchase please email me at: email@example.com. I accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Paypal and checks. $175 includes shipping to the US and one free sharpening of the saw!
This week there came a need to rout an oval that matched a smaller oval, and we needed to make the new pattern 1-1/4″ wider all around. A new design could have been made, but that’s a lot of extra work to layout, cut and shape. And getting the oval as an exact match would be difficult at best.
In the past (especially when working on goose-neck molding layout), I’ve made a wooden circle with a center hole just sized to allow a pencil to pass through to accurately draw around a pattern, providing a perfect over-sized pattern. As we discussed this technique, Dave (friend and fellow woodworker) suggested we bypass the pencil and use a router bit instead. Great idea.
To make it happen, you need to size the needed bushing. To add 1-1/4″ when using a 1/4″ spiral-upcut router bit, you need a 2-9/16″ outside diameter bushing – you cannot find that in the router accessories department of any store. So step one is to make a plywood disc to that size. If you do the layout work with a compass, you get the size and you mark the center of your disc, which is a good thing. Cut the rough shape at your band saw then smooth the edges using a disc sander. (You could set up a band saw jig to make the disc, but that’s way to involved when a single disc is needed.)
With the wooden disc in hand, drill a hole in its center that is perfectly sized for a standard bushing you have in the shop; in this case, we used a 3/4″-outside diameter bushing. Make sure you accurately center the hole in the disc – that’s where the prick from the compass leg comes into play. When you’ve drilled the hole, the disc should fit snug on your bushing. Load the over-sized guide bushing into your favorite router and your set to work.
With this arrangement, the bushing offsets the router as the cut is made. A good practice is to step your way through these cuts, making several passes while dropping the cutting depth with each step. The photo below shows the first light pass, which also confirmed the offset cut.
Router bushings are a great asset to have in the shop. In most available kits, the largest outside diameter is 51/64″. You can find odd bushings sized as large as 1-3/16″, but if you need something larger, turn to plywood and make the bushing in your shop.
Build Something Great!
There are always implications in the physical that have deeper implications in life; beyond what we can see I mean. Our consumerism causes abandonment in every sphere of life. If it didn’t, landfill would lessen overnight and and the decision to buy a dining table would be determined by whether it would last last through a century or so and not mere and artificial cost. The richer in stuff we become, the more we toss out, the bigger the acreage for dumped stuff and the deeper our failure would be toward others without. At the car boot yeterday morning, my turn for a Saturday off, or an hour anyway, I picked up a few bits that didn’t break the bank at all, had no slick, triple-layer packaging and no shipping costs to boot. I almost didn’t go but was so glad I did cos there in a bucket of another man’s junk was an I Sorby miniature brace that was in great nick, almost unused and a very rare treasure indeed. This is not just a short-sweep swing brace but smaller in scale all around. I love miniature tools; child’s sized tools, not junk stuff. 75 pence wasn’t too much to pay and pulling it from under broken wrenches and bent screwdrivers was more a rescue mission for me. I had not seen that it was a Sorby until I got it home. I did like the obvious quality of the tool and the feel of age it had though. Anyway, I will keep it for a full kit I want to put together for my grandkids to use when they come over. Any #1′s going for a song anywhere?
My newest addition is an I Sorby swing brace
I bought a couple of gouges and a 1/2” socketed chisel that came to life in the workshop and then there were other pieces from different stalls that seemed like orphans needing a good home somewhere. The full sized braces are almost always there, but we still use them often enough in our work because they offer a good alternative to battery-powered stuff. Counting the turns gives a guaranteed hole depth. One turn is usually 1/16” once the spur hits the surface and so four turns (called sweeps) takes you in 1/4” deep from surface to the bottom of the hole recess.
My mother was a dressmaker from being 13-years old when she began her apprenticeship in Ghent, Belgium until she was 70. Scissors were precious tools to her and I learned of their value and to sharpen and set them from working with her. One tap too many and the shears were too tight for a week. Most people might not notice, but to her it mattered. These scissor types are often discarded models these days but I still like them. So, anyway, I started to sharpen them on a Trend diamond sharpening plate, the ones with the diamond pattern across the surface. I haven’t used this plate type too much because I like the EZE-Lap well enough, and also the DMT. Sharpening the scissors on the diamond patterned side I noticed that the diamonds were starting to sloughing off. I doubt whether I have used this plate for more than an hour tops since I got it so it was quite troubling for so new a product. I went back to the EZE- Lap plates to sharpen and they scissors soon worked like new again. I realise now that the problem may be with the area creating the diamond pattern bordering the electroplated diamonds, where there is only the zinc plating between the steel being sharpened and the steel plate supporting the diamonds and the electroplating.
The marking gauges with wooden thumbscrews are among my favourites still. They lock well, better than metal and plastic, and they just last for ever. This one looks OK here, but it was ugly before I reworked the surfaces, backed out the pin and worked on the stock with my rasp and plane. By the way, the best way to back out the pin is cinch it tight in a drill-driver and back it out with a careful pull stroke. Someone had cut the wood right by the pin, so it was quite unsupported. I wanted to keep the pin so repositioning was a simple step of refiling a four sided point and using the pointed pin as an exact sized drill bit. This cleaned off the rust and as soon as the pin point protruded just a hair I stopped. I then hammer-tapped the pin through so that it bites securely to the walls of the hole to the remaining depth. This minimizes the risk of splitting, which can happen otherwise.
I’ll spare you the details of a cast iron pipe wrench and the Eclipse Junior hacksaw.
During the last year, Jeff Burks, Suzanne Ellison and I have been investigating the history of the holdfast. We’ve found some clues that this essential bench accessory is older than we first suspected.
It’s a long story that involves decaying frescoes, letters sent overseas, e-mails to Yale and lots of dead ends.
As we move forward in our research, we have a question for our multi-lingual readers: How do you say “holdfast?”
In French, we know it is “les valets.” But as we search databases around the planet, it would be good to have a more complete list of this common trade word in a bunch of languages, such as French, German, Dutch, Swedish and the like.
In English, we know the word goes back a bit. In 1575, G. Gascoigne in “Noble Arte Venerie lxxii” states: “You may take them out aliue with your holdfasts or clampes.” That’s the earliest reference in the Oxford English Dictionary.
But we think the tool is older than that.
Let us know. We thank you.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Historical Images
Our company has grown a lot since 2007, and we now have a lot of first-time customers, commenters and readers. So I want to repeat some of the core principles here at Lost Art Press for those of you who are new here.
1. We will never sell, trade or give your personal information to anyone. Likewise, we never purchase private information for any purpose.
2. We do not accept advertising on our site. Never have. Never will. Yes, our YouTube videos have some advertising pre-rolls that are put there against our will. We hate them and receive no money from them. Our web site has neither donors nor sponsors. The only revenue we receive is from selling products on our site. Period.
3. Every tool than John Hoffman and I own was purchased by ourselves at full retail. We do not accept free tools. Some manufacturers will send us samples for us to test. After testing the tools, we purchase them at full retail, send them back to the manufacturer or donate them to a woodworker or a charity. Our tools are our own.
4. We do not participate in any affiliate programs with any retail web sites. In other words, we do not receive any kickbacks or affiliate payments when we recommend a product. Never have. Never will.
5. Everything we sell is made in the United States. We have nothing against the workers in other countries – everyone’s got to eat. But we believe in supporting our neighbors. And so we work with printers, T-shirt makers and other suppliers who are close by.
If you ever have an ethical concern or question regarding one of our products, please let us know. Our direct e-mails and mailing addresses can be found here.
One last thing: Please do not think this ethics statement is a condemnation of how anyone else conducts his or her business. Their businesses are their own. For us, this is the only way we know how to do business and look at ourselves in the mirror in the morning.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Personal Favorites, Products We Sell
Today was a crisp clear day in the Mid-Atlantic. Whether it is the “calm before the storm” or the “calm before the slush” remains to be seen, as will be revealed over the next 48 hours.
One of our SAPFM Chesapeake Chapter (thanks Jonathan!) organized an informal gathering at the National Gallery for a gallery walkabout through the Kaufman Collection, probably the best easily-available-to-the-public exhibition of historic furniture in DC.
After first gathering at the Cafe next to the skating rink in the NGA Scultpure Garden, where we had a rollicking good time of swapping tales, we headed over to the Gallery.
I’ve been to the exhibit several times before, and am still struck by the amazing scagliola (inlaid marble) featured on this table at the beginning of the exhibit.
It wasn’t long before clusters of folks formed and flowed looking at the amazing furniture of those makers who went before us.
I find myself increasingly attracted to more restrained forms. I can appreciate the ornate and opulent — I am working on the Roubo project after all, and what is more outlandish than some French marquetry? — but the understated expression of some Federal pieces is particularly strong in my eyes.
Just before we left the exhibit, Dan asked me about some of the detailing on this over-the-top Federal sideboard. Fortunately I had already covered that ground for my friend Betsy Davison’s book on the idiosyncratic furniture maker John Shearer (it’s a great book; buy it!). The feature in question was some incised and punched detailing on the marquetry, with the incising filled with either asphaltum or pitch to provide the black line accents.
From where you are sitting, I am sure there are times I look like a media harlot. Sweet mother of mystery, I get tired of seeing my name, image and videos spread all over the Internet. So I can only imagine how you feel about it.
Ask my mom if this is true: Though I’m a total goofball, I really am too shy to look strangers in the eye. Somehow, I have ended up where we are today – featured on “The Highland Woodworker.”
When I get phone calls to do a video, class or presentation, my first response is always “no.” I’d rather dig through old books and build things in the shop. Period.
But Charles Brock has always been a helpful and genuine guy; plus, I owe so much to Highland Woodworking in Atlanta, which is the sponsor of the show. So I agreed to have Charles and Stephen Price in my home to chat about Lost Art Press.
I think they did a great job. And they used some photos of the farm house my mom and dad built outside Hackett, Ark., so it was a nostalgia trip as well.
Check it out. As always, it’s a great episode with high production values and a little bit for everyone.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Products We Sell, The Anarchist's Tool Chest, To Make as Perfectly as Possible, Roubo Translation
That lateral adjuster on a Stanley made plane.
After 1885 when Stanley added the lateral adjuster, All Stanley Bailey and Stanley Bedrock planes had this style adjuster.
That lateral adjuster on a Sargent made plane.
Sargent 1910 and before:
The Sargent twisted lateral had 2 different guides,
Sargent 1911 and After: (Including Hercules)
Millers Falls made:
That lateral adjuster on a Millers Falls made plane.
Ohio Tools made:
That lateral adjuster on a Ohio Tools made plane.
Stanley made Defiance:
That lateral adjuster on a Stanley made Defiance plane.
Another telltale sign of the defiance plane is the flat sided reddish tote.
That lateral adjuster of a Union looks like the early twisted Sargent, but with a washer type guide like the Ohio Tools or Stanley.
It doesn't matter if I spend $93 on a Starrett combination square, or $300 on a try square from Bridge City Toolworks. 90 degrees is 90 degrees. This isn't an amplifier that goes to 11. There's no way to make it louder, or pretend that straight and square can be in any way cranked up, because attitude and ego have no impact whatsoever on the pure physical reality. Fancy colored aluminum and T-track and other trendy, photogenic enhancements have no effect on geometry.
It Is, or It Isn't.
I've been fighting a pitched battle with my cross-cutting miter head for years now. I remember reading Chris Schwarz saying that he really, really wanted a dedicated 90 degree miter head. And I remember thinking that this was a no-brainer, because 'Straight' and 'Square' are the two first things you need to establish reference surfaces to do just about anything. The problem is, it seems like most of the miter heads available for sale by the usual suspects have sacrificed accuracy and/or reliability, for adjustability, and ease of re-calibration. In other words, you can make it square, you just can't make it stay square. In the end, I noticed in one of his shop photos that the Schwarz finally settled on a $600 Jessem sliding table for his table saw. (No idea if he kept it when he bought his new saw.)
These are a couple of $60 miter heads from Incra. (Please forgive the fuzzy photo) I bought them because the steel construction, and caveman simplicity of the notched angle settings seemed like it would be pretty bomb proof. The issue I discovered is that the fence bracket... the bent, vertical surface that the miter fence will bolt to... isn't so solidly attached. It's bolted on, with 4 screws. They're basically 1/8" screws, through 1/4" holes, and there's so much slop involved that you can be pretty sure on any given day that they're not going to be square. You can easily knock them straight again, I guess, but I'd rather have something I can rely on.
The one on the left was my first real attempt in trying to get something workable out of this setup. About a year ago I took those 4 mounting screws out, and drilled and tapped the holes in the steel plate for 1/4-20 bolts, figuring 1/4" bolts should fill the 1/4" holes just fine. They don't, 1/4-20 bolts start out as 1/4" stock, and after the threads are cut, aren't quite 1/4". But they were better, anyway. They bolted down well enough, I cut and ground the bolts to be flush with the underside, and then I clamped the head rigidly at 90 degrees, and drilled and tapped two holes that go directly down into the bar, to fix it at 90 degrees. Now, like I said, the stability of this whole thing really relies on those 4 bolts. (And the fit of the miter bar, but we'll get there in a minute.) And because the 1/4" bolts don't quite fill those 1/4" holes, things again went off-track.
Many an F-bomb has been dropped on this miter gauge battlefield.
The arsenal has actually expanded to include the venerable MF-bomb, the GD-MF-WTF-bomb, and the always fearsome, angry silent gripping of the edge of the table.
And, as always, such violence never really solves the problem.
The other day, I checked for square, and sure enough, it wasn't. Again. So, I set it to square, and drilled and tapped through the head and the fence bracket, for 4 set screws, to hold the alignment as well as I could get it to, short of welding it. (Fire in a wood shop is bad, and thin steel doesn't always weld very well, or at least not without warping.)
Next step was to tackle the bar. Like the aluminum Kreg miter bar, these steel bars are undersize by 1/64"-1/32" or so. The expanding plastic washers are junk. They're soft, and they give the illusion that they'll fix the problem. But they'll wear quickly, need to be recalibrated, and so in the meantime, the gauge can't be trusted.
So, I drilled and tapped the bar like I did the other day to a Kreg bar.
And I took the screws that go through the plastic doo-hickeys, and used them in those holes. I adjusted until they fit the miter track perfectly. It's an imperfect solution, the steel in the screws is harder than the cast iron, and individual points will cause more wear than a perfectly fitted steel bar, but for now, they'll do.
I re-mounted the fence to the miter head. It was very close to being perfectly square along 18" of miter fence. Given all of the hack-shop jerry-rigging that's been going on here, it's only natural that a little bit of error crept in somewhere. I'm not happy about it, but I fixed the alignment of the fence with 2 layers of tape. I'm relatively happy with it, as long as I can trust the miter head. Which I don't, really. When something I want to trust lets me down as many times as these miter heads have, it's hard to patch that relationship, even with drilling and tapping and adding of more screws, and so on. But for now, I'll invest a little faith that my set screw idea has actually, you know, done something.
When I went to try it out, the bar jammed in the track. My adustments were too good: If the bar's even slightly out of square to the track, it binds. So I loosened the fence, let the miter head and bar settle into their desired position, and re-tightened the fence. NOW, it works. The plywood in the picture is square, along a 10" cut, which is the widest stock I can cut with a miter head on this saw. Bigger cuts require a sled. And a sled will also require making accurate bars... and I don't have the heart for that right now.
Maybe next week.
--- Side Note---
I bought the Kreg miter gauge after realizing that the Incra was as bad as it is, because the head that bolts to the bar on the Kreg setup is one piece, unlike the Incra. So I won't have to worry about a loose fence bracket. The miter bar is long, but it's aluminum, undersized, and has a lot of plastic set screws to make up the difference. They're problematic, because just going in and out of the slot wears on them a lot, and I can never really trust that the calibration is good.
In the end, it doesn't matter how much money you spend on the head, if the bar isn't good. If the bar is sloppy, the miter gauge will be accordingly sloppy... or the crosscut sled, miter sled, or any other accessory you mount to that bar. As I've said before, any decent jig needs a way to align the material, a way to control the material, and a way to accurately guide the material past whatever's doing the cutting. An accurate bar is required to get accurate results.
The head on the miter gauge may be one piece, and Kreg's L-shaped fence profile and production stops are great. You can even buy a 4' chunk of it, to make a really long miter gauge fence. (I did.) But in the end, none of the anodized aluminum sexiness matters. I still can't trust the bar to be accurate. There is no miter gauge that goes to 11: Square is square, accurate is accurate, It IS, or It Isn't.
And it isn't... Or at least, not reliably so.
I share shop space with Mark DelGuidice, among others. Mark loves his General table saw. He loves it enough that he bought an even bigger one for the shared machine room. The big one has 1" miter slots, as opposed to the 3/4" slots that most machines have. The miter heads are very heavily cast, with machined steel bars that are T-shaped in cross-section, and they fit those slots PERFECTLY. No alignment screws, no slop, no apologies. They were made well, and made right, and they fit like they should.
I walked back into his own personal space, and took a look at the head for his 10" saw. The head is heavily cast, and the 3/4" milled steel bar isn't T-shaped, but it fits the slot PERFECTLY. No alignment screws, no slop, no apologies.
So, long-term, I think I'm going to have to look into getting a real miter gauge, with a real steel miter bar, one that fits like it should. And if I can't find one, I'll have to make one... Or have one made. I'm tired of fighting losing battles with half-hearted aftermarket parts to get them to work like they should. I'd love to get a dedicated 90 miter head that's solid and reliable enough to try something like William Ng's 5-cut to square method.
But at this point, if I have to go through all of the above to work with the Stupid, Flaming, God-Forsaken POS that I have, it's not worth it.
(Bombs away... I'm off to to throw things now.)
Between very cold weather, and a nasty cold/virus/plague there has been almost no woodworking for a few weeks. However, I have been plotting and planning a comeback.
Saw Vise Planning Underway
Learning to sharpen saws last year has been a tremendous advantage. It was almost an epiphany when a freshly sharpened saw was placed into my hand by Paul Seller’s. The accuracy and speed of cut was only surpassed by the feeling of excitement when I finally understood the joy of sawing with sharp teeth. I have successfully sharpened my saws many times since; however over this winter, in a garage without natural light my sharpening accuracy has dulled. My vise until this point has been two scraps of wood holding the saw plate in the vise.
This has worked well and I encourage anyone to work this way, however I have decided that bringing the saw closer to my eyes and the light, should improve my sharpening accuracy. Currently I am considering two vise plans; The first a saw vise that was picked up by Paul Sellers and shown in his image below. The second is a vise I first saw on Peter Follansbee’s blog. The links should take you to the pages where I saw the vise images.
I like the simplicity of the Vise shown by Paul and it looks like a fun project that includes some mortise and tenon joints and cutting a hinge. I imagine I will end up building both.
Placing a couple of stools in my shop has become a priority. I am content to sit on my saw bench, however I enjoy the chatter when my wife or children join me in the shop and want to make it more welcoming. Several weeks ago I began milling lumber for the stools using the plans in Woodworking Masterclasses. When the weather breaks this will be project number 2.
Seeking Desk Plans