Hand Tool Headlines

The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator




A side rebate plane’s fence, fix solution

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:51pm

A side rebate (rabbet) plane widens dado’s (housing) or trench (Europe) and grooves, wow so many names for one joint.   Sometime a dado is a little too tight to accept a shelf or a groove for a drawer bottom needs to be a little wider for a perfect fit, this is where these planes excel.

There are several versions and makers of these planes, I believe Stanley only produced two of the No.79 and the 98 and 99 which Lie Nielsen now produces. 98_99

Then there was Edward Preston, whom Veritas based their design on and not to forget record. When Preston left the tool making scene, Record took over the production of the Preston planes.

Some time ago I began my hunt for a decent no.79 and I found one on eBay. I can’t remember what I paid for it, but they’re stupidly expensive now. The one I found was in near perfect condition. Here are the eBay pictures I downloaded at the time.

Whoever bought it must have thrown it in the toolbox and forgotten about it.  It’s rare to see these planes in such good condition. Well, I was lucky. There is another version of the no.79 you should avoid. They have slotted round screws instead of the thumb screws like I have.


I suspected at the time that the slots in the screws would wear out through repeated use, so I asked my friend Tony as he has one and he hates it for that reason alone. Tony’s tool chest was featured in Jim Tolpin’s book “The Toolbox Book.” page 28.  He fits over 400 tools in his chest and it weighs in at a whopping 400lb (181.43kg). That’s an entire workshop of tools he can carry to any job site and only taking up a small corner in the back of his pickup.
Let me see anyone do this with modern machinery.

Anyhow, the purpose of this blog was not to go into any detail about different versions of the side rebate planes, but to discuss a manfacturer’s flaw in the fence and the quick solution I came to fixing it.

So even though it’s basically new for a vintage plane, it still had a manufacturing fault. The fence wasn’t 90° to the surface of the plane. This rectification was on my to do list for many months, but I didn’t give it much thought on how to fix it since I don’t have a square metal block, I’ve left as is till this morning.  My day typically begins at 4 am when I’m not working my other job, this is the best part of the day as your mind is fresh with new ideas and it’s peaceful as the world is still asleep. It’s very serene.

I started off with a pair of pliers trying to bend it into shape and all I managed to do was create small teeth marks ruining what was once a pristine surface.

If Stanley did their job right in the first place, I wouldn’t have had to do this.

So, I kept bending it like a moron not realising that I was also creating a hump in the middle.  Now I was frantic and I looked around in desperation for anything that was square that could handle a beating and there she was. My lathe.

I threw a square up against the outside face and no go, so I tried the inside and alas she’s square.



I placed the fence against the metal bar on the lathe and with the hard part of a rubber mallet I struck several light blows across the surface.

Yes, it worked! The fence is square, but the hump is still there. To fix that I used a normal metal hammer and got rid of the hump.


Had I given this proper thought beforehand, I wouldn’t have left teeth marks on a pristine surface. Lucky for me these marks are not sharp where it would mar the work. Surprisingly though they are smooth as a baby’s butt.

Is this a must have tool?

It’s a toughie to answer, yes and no. Yes, when you need one and I have used it more often than not, but it’s not an everyday “usage tool.”  I think it’s one of those tools you tend to forget you have until the day pops up when nothing else will work as the tool you forgot you had.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Horse Garage Chronicles

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:50pm


With a bruised right rib and something seriously wrong with my elbow today, I thought about titling this blog entry: “Burn Horse Garage, You Sputum of Satan – Ptttttth, I Hate You – Love Chris.” Instead I decided to focus on the ridiculous aspect of this project: What I will do to create my workshop.

During the last 12 months I have failed to install the new screen door for the front of our house. It’s an easy job – probably only half a day. But apparently I’d rather spend weeks mired in rebuilding concrete block walls, heaving old mattresses to their doom and ripping out 40 square yards of disgusting detritus all for a 25’ x 30’ bunker to hold a few machines and a wood pile.

For the last three years I have neglected to make and install 5’ of moulding on the stairway of our home. It’s an insanely easy bit of work. I could do it with moulding planes or a router in an hour or two. Lucy would be so happy. But no, I’d rather rip out weird tile and ceiling boards for four days straight. (Asbestos? I hope not.) All for a dark cave that is as inspiring as a Communist debriefing room.

Our house’s lamppost and doorbell haven’t worked since the Clinton Administration. The risers of our stairs need a quick coat of paint. My office walls need to be painted after a plaster repair five years ago.

I’m a horrible person. And apparently I am also a sociopath because I don’t care. Today we spent hours restoring the jambs of the Horse Garage – resetting them to their original place in 1906. We filled all the nail holes with an all-weather putty. We sanded. Scraped. Primed and painted.

Honestly, this blog entry could be entered into evidence in a divorce proceeding.

And that’s fine. I deserve it.

As long as I get to keep the shop.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Lost Art Press Storefront, Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Last Chance for ‘Sharpen This’ Sticker

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:14pm

My daughter Maddy reports she has fewer than 50 sets of stickers left, a set that includes the “Sharpen This” sticker that is showing up on the boxes for sharpening stones everywhere. (Wish I had thought of that.)

If you want a set of these high-quality stickers, here are the details. You can order a set of three from her etsy store here. A set is $6 delivered ($10 for international orders).

Or, for customers in the United States, you can send a $5 bill and a SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to by daughter Maddy at:

Stick it to the Man
P.O. Box 3284
Columbus, OH 43210

As always, this is not a money-making venture for me or Lost Art Press. All profits help Maddy through college. (Only one more college payment due!)

After this set is exhausted, we’ll be printing three new stickers. I’m working on the new designs now.

— Christopher Schwarz

Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Video: Building A Sculpture with Toshio Odate

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:41am

A couple of years back Popular Woodworking Magazine had the chance to visit renowned sculptor, author and teacher Toshio Odate at his home. While there, we had a wonderful opportunity to speak with him about his life and work. While filming a great deal of content for two videos, we had the unique chance to watch as Toshio, his family and friends (and a few of our crew) helped re-install […]

The post Video: Building A Sculpture with Toshio Odate appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Best Marking Knife

The English Woodworker - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:44am
The Best Marking Knife

All my tools are fairly rough and basic.

I’ve never had much bother finding tools that work, although two things have always troubled me.

The first; finding drill bits that don’t rag out the work in slow hand powered drills.

And finding a good marking knife.

The drill bit hunt is still on, but I have finally got on top of the iron dagger.

My favourite knife for many years was a bit of old hacksaw blade, sharpened to a spear like point, so it could be used right or left-handed.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Best Marking Knife

The English Woodworker - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:44am
The Best Marking Knife

All my tools are fairly rough and basic.

I’ve never had much bother finding tools that work, although two things have always troubled me.

The first; finding drill bits that don’t rag out the work in slow hand powered drills.

And finding a good marking knife.

The drill bit hunt is still on, but I have finally got on top of the iron dagger.

My favourite knife for many years was a bit of old hacksaw blade, sharpened to a spear like point, so it could be used right or left-handed.

Continue reading at The English Woodworker.

Categories: Hand Tools

M&T Shop Building: Installing Sheathing

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 9:45am

Because of a wind storm that knocked the power out this week (stalling progress on the Tables video edit), Mike and I have been working on sheathing the shop the past few days. We are just about finished with the first floor and we have one of the gable ends upstairs complete. This part of the project has been fun as we are able to work to carpentry tolerances rather than furniture tolerances.

This is no normal carpentry job, though. Choosing the right board for each spot has definitely made this a slower process because we’ve got all kinds of random lengths and widths (often tapering) to work with, not to mention the waney edges and ragged ends. We are also selecting the most attractive (and wide) boards for the more prominent areas in the shop. Needless to say, each board selection is the result of careful consideration of many factors before we do the custom shaping to fit the adjacent board.

We know we’ve still got a long way ahead of us until the shop is complete but each step is an exciting glimpse of it taking shape.

- Joshua


Categories: Hand Tools

Bungee Cord Boom Arm– Tips from Sticks in the Mud – November 2017 – Tip #2

Highland Woodworking - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 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.

The Festool Vacuum Hose Boom Arm is a great invention, and Steve Johnson thinks I’m absolutely nuts because I don’t have one.

What good is it? There are lots of uses.

Relating to attaching one’s Festool Dust Extractor to any sander, it keeps the hose from dragging across your work, possibly scratching a nicely-prepared surface.

Also, when used with the belt sander, it prevents the hose from holding back your progress when you wish to cover a lot of ground with the sander, which is what a belt sander does best.

For any sander, it helps you maintain the surface of the sandpaper coplanar with the surface being sanded. You can do that with brute strength, or you can utilize the boom arm by adjusting its height to match the job you’re on.

If I don’t have a boom arm, then, how do I accomplish these things?

Bungee cords!

I have screw-hooks in the ceiling all over the shop and outdoors on the deck where I do some work too. If one bungee cord is too short, I can double up. If it’s too long, I can double over. There are lots of ways to make things work.

Under threat of rain, I moved the sanding of this mantle under the First Up tent. Now, the work, the sander and the Festool Dust Extractor are all protected. Notice the bungee cord holding the dust extractor hose at just the right angle for easy, comfortable sanding.

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 written below in the comments section. 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 Bungee Cord Boom Arm– Tips from Sticks in the Mud – November 2017 – Tip #2 appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Creative Streak

Northwest Woodworking - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 6:57am

Why do we make things? Why do we do this creative work?

A dear friend came by last night and looked at a kitchen table of mine made some decades ago. She saw the Cloud Rise curves shaped into the edge of its top. She noticed the Chinese foot at the base of the piece. She remarked on the table, admired its shapes, color, wood. These details were ones that I had put in to train myself at the bench. They made no difference to the integrity of the table. It stood still.

There are efforts we make that have nothing to do with structure, with longevity or use. They are done simply because they are important to me, the builder. They are important to how I feel when I’m done with the piece. That I have given it some character, some part of me as well. These painstaking details are done because they inform the piece. They are a gift of intention by its maker. “Here I hope you enjoy this.”

Nothing more. Done as much for me, the builder, as for the eventual viewer who will never know how many hours it took to create the details that her eyes glanced down to and admired in a few minutes of time. It is how it is.

The work was done for her but also for my own selfish needs to satisfy my simple creative urge. That streak of me-ness that will flash briefly and be seen little more.

Read more of my musings on creativity in my new book: Handmade, Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction.

An image of the first chunk of wood I made into a piece of crude furniture.



Categories: Hand Tools

Live-Edge Slabs from NYC with Roger Benton – 360w360 E.256

360 WoodWorking - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 4:10am
Live-Edge Slabs from NYC with Roger Benton – 360w360 E.256

In this episode of 360 with 360WoodWorking, we talk with Roger Benton, co-owner of Re-Co BKLYN (recobklyn.com), a woodworking shop that builds fine furniture and produces live-edge slabs and boards. And the majority of the lumber is taken directly out of the city’s waste stream. Roger shares how the business got started, and reveals a few facts about New York city and its vast lumber resources.

Join 360 Woodworking every Thursday for a lively discussion on everything from tools to techniques to wood selection (and more).

Continue reading Live-Edge Slabs from NYC with Roger Benton – 360w360 E.256 at 360 WoodWorking.

Here’s yours truly fielding some questions on Japanese...

Giant Cypress - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:28am

Here’s yours truly fielding some questions on Japanese woodworking — specifically, using Japanese saws with western saws, taking care of Japanese tools, where to start with Japanese tools, and sharpening. This was filmed while making my videos on Japanese tools for Popular Woodworking, as a sort of behind-the-scenes featurette.

As a side note, I’m happy to answer questions on woodworking, Japanese or otherwise, or any other subject, for that matter. You can contact me via the “Ask” link at the top of the page, and my other contact info is at the bottom of the page.

‘Workholding Solutions’ – Free eMag

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 3:26am

Twice a year, we add a bindup of “legacy content” (articles that have appeared in the magazine before) to newsstand copies. While it’s nothing long-time subscribers haven’t already seen, recent subscribers might have missed one or two of the articles. So we’re offering it here, free. In the December 2017 issue (which mails to subscribers on November 8 and is on newsstands November 21), we’ve included in the newsstand copies “Workholding Solutions” […]

The post ‘Workholding Solutions’ – Free eMag appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

a no title post....

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 1:54am
Almost zero shop time tonight. I had to make a pit stop at Wally World tonight and they don't sell Simple Green. Benny's is or was a Rhode Island institution and it was the first store I remember going in as a kid. They sold Simple Green cheap but they went out of business last week. They weren't exactly a hardware store nor were they a department store.  They were kind of the two but small scale and a few tics above a dollar store. Another memory I can talk about to other people and watch the vacant expressions on their faces.

I will have to wait for the weekend and go to Ocean State Junk Lot and see if they have it. It is a hit or miss affair with that store. You never know what they have in stock. Lowes sells it but for almost 3 times the price Benny's used to sell it for. That will be the absolute last resort.

two for Miles and one for me
Paul Sellers recommends a flat file as an essential tool and I agree. It works wonderfully on smoothing end grain. It will serve double duty filing scrapers too. The japanese square is one I have and I like it. I don't use it much because it is hidden away in a cabinet. Maybe he'll use it more than I use mine.

got this for me
Woodcraft sells 6mm plywood. This 6mm iron will make a groove for it. If it doesn't you will hear me screaming my displeasure that it doesn't.

won't fit in here
I really don't want to keep the 6mm iron in here. I can put the 1/4" iron in the plane and 6mm in it's slot. Or I could just put the 6mm in the plane. I don't like either scenario. I think it would be too easy to confuse one for the other. Besides, I would have to chop a slot in the plane body holder in the box so I can stow the plane body with an iron in it.

what I plan on doing
I will make a holder for the 6mm iron and glue it to this end of the box. I put this box on the sharpening bench so I'll remember to do it this weekend.

dadoes chopped
The chopping went real quick with the 2" chisel. Two whacks covered the 3" + on the width. Used the 1" chisel to knock down the wedge in the middle and flatten it.

router got me to depth
It has taken me quite a while to get to this point with the housing joint. Both of these fit snug and both are self supporting. Worth the struggle to get here and finally to be able to make good fitting housing dadoes repeatedly.

this way
Long grain facing out and end grain facing out on the ends.

or this way
End grain facing up and long grain on the ends.  With this orientation I'll be gluing end grain to long grain. I'll need some kind of fastener to help secure the joint. I could use miller dowels or long screws. With the spacer installed this way I don't have to worry about expansion and contraction  changing the distance from the back to the front edge of the spacer. But I do have to look at the end grain which I don't like.

I went with the first way - long grain facing out. I'll have a strong and secure long grain to long grain glue joint. Expansion and contraction may or may not be a problem. The spacers are about 3 3/8" wide so I'm betting that I won't have to worry about it. And they are both sequential pieces from the same board.

planing the face
This planing run was to clean up all the pencil marks. I've been doing my planing wrong as I usually start here and plane forward.

the way I should be doing it
I don't recall the video I saw this in but Paul Sellers explained how to do it. He said you plane the board is sections, starting at the left end and working back. If you are left handed you would start at the right and work to the left. Paraphrasing what he said, doing it this way you are planing from an unplaned area into one that is planed. The plane isn't going over a freshly planed spot as it would be if I did my way. He's been right on a lot of other things so I'll give a try too.

I'm glad I checked this
The one on the left is square to the back but this one was off. It was leaning to the right a few frog hairs. It took me a few whacks with the mallet to get it square and to keep it there. I came down after dinner to make sure it was still square - it was.

I wanted to get the second round of stripping on the plane done but it will have to wait. I got a throw away brush to slop the stripper on and I hope that it'll last so I can do the other two planes with it too.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
What is hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (36 letters)?
answer - a fear of long words

PS I found my Roman Woodworking book and the 'A' thing is a libella in Latin and was used by stone masons and woodworkers.

Rabbet Plane Build Split in Half

Journeyman's Journal - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:36am

I had some free time on my hands, yeah, I know, shock, horror I got free time. I returned to an unfinished project I started a few months ago building a wooden rabbet plane.  I was boring a 1″ hole near the escapement when CRACK the bit split the timber in two.

Rather than chuck the plane away, I glued it back together again with fish glue.  Those cam clamps provide just enough pressure without risking crushing the fibres.  I say that because I reattached it as is without doing disturbing the break. Fortunately for me the break was clean with no missing parts.


I left the plane oversized in length, width and thickness. When I inserted the iron and wedged it, I noticed the plane bowed ever so slightly.  Maybe when I put the cover on the rabbeted grip, the bow may not return.  I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Categories: Hand Tools


Subscribe to Norse Woodsmith aggregator