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|my toe stubs|
|the middle of the saw|
|setting the 140|
|I'm guessing this is maybe a 32nd deep|
|cutting the tails|
|off square on this half pin|
|an added bennie|
|setting the pin depth|
|not too bad for hurrying|
|tumultuous joy and dancing in the streets abounded|
|half pin is gappy|
|planed them flush and glued it|
|the 140's nicker|
|glued and cooking|
|I didn't hesitate at all|
|finally got the pair|
|nice fluffy shavings|
|the adjustable shoe works easily|
|sole is in decent shape|
|iron looks good and has plenty of life left to it|
|back of the iron|
|no room for it with it's mate|
This started in July of 1943. What was it?
answer - federal income being withheld from paychecks
In a recent blog post I mentioned how our content editor, Jim McConnell, and I have agreed to engage in a friendly discussion on the blog about metal-bodied and wooden hand planes. In that post, Jim explained some of the reasons that he prefers metal-bodied planes. We aren’t here to make this topic controversial and adversarial. That’s the stupid kind of stuff that happens on forums. This is just plain ol’ honest discussion. Here's my take:
I was trained on metal-bodies planes at the luthiery school I attended. We learned the setup, adjustment, and use of these high-performance tools. Even though my introduction to planing was with new high-end examples, after I graduated from the program, I fixed up a few old Stanleys to fill out my set. I had no reason to complain about metal-bodied planes—I had nothing to compare them to.
It wasn’t until I began demonstrating pre-industrial woodworking that I decided I better figure out how to use wooden planes. I expected to eventually achieve decent competency—at least enough to do planing demonstrations—but I didn’t have high expectations.
For me, the only way to learn is to dive in head first. I resolved to go cold turkey for a few days to force myself to learn the mystical subtleties of adjusting these foreign contraptions. I cleaned the grime off some old fore plane and sharpened the iron same as I always did on my metal planes. I read some instructions and watched a YouTube video or two and then gave it shot. I spent about 20 minutes playing around with the adjustments, varying the tapping pressure, and even experimenting with retracting the iron a bit (I don’t know why but I didn’t expect that technique to work.)
I found that it only took me a few hours of playing around with wooden planes until I was instinctively making confident adjustments with the hammer. This was an honest-to-goodness surprise. I began to incorporate these planes more and more into my work to increase my proficiency with them. After a few weeks, it occurred to me that I was actually beginning to prefer using wooden planes over against my faithful metal ones. How in the world did that happen? What were the advantages I saw in these planes?
A Few Reasons I Prefer Wooden Planes
- Lightness – If you are a hand-tool woodworker who preps your stock with hand tools, mass is not your friend. Why in the world would you want to spend hours slugging around a heavy metal plane when a wooden one works the same (or better)? This is no joke—It makes a huge difference for endurance. If you use machines to prep your lumber and pretty much only use your smoothing plane, then this point is probably irrelevant to you but if it’s up to your muscles to get the job done, you’ll want all the help you can get.
- Lack of Sole Friction – This one goes hand in hand with #1. Wooden soles glide on wood like no other. With my metal planes, I remember regularly going back to lubricate my soles in order to minimize the resistance while planing. I’d rub a little wax on the sole and BAM! what a difference it made. Lubricating soles is an old practice that even historic wooden plane users took advantage of. It makes sense. Why muscle the tool around if you can make it glide better? The truth is, I almost never lubricate my wooden plane soles. Once in a blue moon I remember that most people out there do that so I put some wax on there for good measure. I hardly notice any difference.
- Ease of Adjustment – I know, I know. You don’t believe me. Am I really saying that adjusting a wooden plane is easier than adjusting a metal one? Yes, I am. Although there is a learning curve (like everything in woodworking), I think the wooden plane’s fewer parts and more straightforward design makes adjustment easier. Metal planes have their own learning curve. The cap iron has to be in the right place or the iron projection will change. Then the lever cap screw has to be turned just right to get the right pressure—too much and you have problems adjusting the iron, too little and you can bump your setting out when planing. And forget about that little knurled knob that you have to cram your fingers to spin, spin, spin to adjust. (Is it clockwise or counter-clockwise, I forget?) I always felt the lateral adjustment lever that can be finicky. Etc, Etc. None of this is a big deal to someone who is used to these idiosyncrasies but my point is both metal and wooden planes have learning curves. My belief is that once you get past the learning curve, the wooden plane is faster, easier, and much more pleasurable to adjust. Try it, I dare you.
- Comfort in Use – There is a reason that metal planes have wooden handles and knobs—metal is cold and uncomfortable. I like the feel of wooden tools and find them much more inviting.
- Tactile Feedback – The wooden body transfers to my hands all the subtle vibrations from the iron engaging the wood. This gives me a source of feedback I never had with thick and heavy metal planes. I can actually feel how the plane is working.
- Beauty – This is totally subjective, I know. I think many metal planes have their own beauty but, in my view, wood ages better than metal. To me, there is nothing like a couple hundred years of patina on an old wooden tool.
You don’t need exceptional planes to get these results. All my planes are over 100 years old and are nothing special. When I am searching for a plane in an antique shop, I look for grain orientation (quartersawn, preferably), no major structural concerns, and at least decent amount of iron left. That’s about it. I am very happy with these simple ho-hum examples and don’t feel a need for anything fancier.
If you are someone who wants the best of best and has the resources to pay for it, there are several wooden plane makers out there that make high-quality bench planes. Old Street Tool has been making single-iron planes for a long time, Steve Voigt makes double-irons, and I recently got to try out a nice single-iron fore plane from Jeremiah Wilding. I highly recommend all these makers.
Have questions? I’d be happy answer in the comments below.
Last week, Marissa Bowers (our wonderful designer, who’s been helping us out while we seek a new permanent art director) mentioned she had been looking for a set of picture rails – and wondered aloud if it was something we could build in the shop. Ever eager for an excuse to bring everyone out to the shop, we decided that everyone in the office could use their own, and I (Brendan […]
|wavy tooth line|
|whoa big doggie|
|I like this one|
|Lee Valley file jointer.|
|it' better but not complete|
|makes rip cuts easily|
|a couple of shoulder cuts|
I'm leaning in the direction of sending it out and having it filed properly. The tooth line on this saw isn't perfect either. It is almost straight and there aren't any missing teeth. If a pro does it I'm sure I can follow on that and keep it in good shape.
|never thought of doing this before|
|nice clean knife line - sharp cures another problem|
|trying out the 140 again|
|nice clean shoulder|
|no slant to outboard on this practice run|
|slanted across the width|
|corrected - flat, straight, and even end to end|
|the action of the plane is very sweet|
|skew blocks for the LN honing guide|
|I like this saw|
|found a box for the 140|
|lots of room|
Who was Juan Sebastian Elcano?
answer - he was the first person to circumnavigate the world (He assumed command after Magellan was killed in the Philippines)
I thought about a number of options, but kept coming back to the kitchen work table I made last year, which has exceeded our expectations. My wife loves it and uses it constantly. I decided to use a similar design for the outdoor table. It is a bit narrow, but it will sit against a wall.
The next issue was what species to use. Cedar and redwood are obvious candidates, but I decided to use white oak because it looks nice and is an excellent outdoor wood. In a Forest Service study, untreated white oak was found to have an estimated average service life of 30 years in outdoor untreated applications. It also weathers nicely. Think of old whiskey barrels. I bought three 5/4 boards 8 feet long averaging 6" wide for $70, under $5/bf. I like this thickness because it makes strong stretchers and, doubled, makes 2" legs.
One disadvantage of white oak is that it is somewhat difficult to work with hand tools. It is subject to tearout and quite hard (Janka hardness of 1360 vs. 1010 for walnut, for example). It's manageable though; the key is very sharp tools, which requires honing very often. Given my severe patience and discipline issues, I have to be able to do this quickly at the bench with no fussing. The best way I have found is three steel honing plates loaded with 6, 3, and 1 micron diamond paste:
I also keep a strop at hand.
My design requires 14 mortises, which I made as I normally do by using a drill press to remove the bulk of the waste and then finishing with a bench chisel. At some point, I will buy a pig sticker and give it a go, but this method is so easy I am ambivalent. A personal failing I know.
Here are the four legs mortised and ready to go:
Drivel Starved Nation-
Here’s the latest news regarding your favorite Tool Potentate…
JOHN OUT OF THE OFFICE DEPT.
This Thursday I depart for China, first stop is Guangzhou. A week later, I will meet up with the BCTW field trip participants in Shanghai for a couple of days of food and tourist attractions–this should be really fun. We then will all board the bullet train (over 300 km/hr and smoother than flying!) for Nanjing. More great food and a visit to the museum of China’s greatest living woodworker. This will be an incredible experience, and I will be sure to take lots of pics and videos for you.
On November 3, I will be taking the bullet train to Beijing and that evening we are meeting the American ambassador to China (Mr. Terry Brandstad) and his wife Chris for dinner, and chopstick making! (Did you know that they extrude the bodies of the bullet train out of aluminium? It’s the largest extrusion in the history of the planet!)
NEW PRODUCT DEPT.
This week we will open the pre-order window for Pencil Precision™. I think you will thoroughly enjoy making pencils–I’m an old guy and not easily amused (except at my own mistakes) and this thing is just a blast to use.
Many of you own an HP6v2 plane so we are offering two kits, one without the plane and the other with an HP-6v2. This is a globally sourced project with components made in the USA, China, Germany, to name a few. Without question, this is the best value tool making kit we have ever produced – Here’s a pic of the kit without the HP-6v2…
This kit includes two sole kits for the HP-6, the planing fixture, the extrusion fixture, and enough blanks and ferrules to make 12 pencils. It will allow you to make round pencils. The extrusion die kits for beaded and Reuleaux pencils will be sold ala carte and are $89 per set. This way you can buy just what you want. This kit is under $450!
In both kits you will receive a sample of six ferrules with erasers and six without. This will allow you to explore both pencil making options. The ferrules come in eight colors and you will understand why when you make your first pencil with child or grandchild assistant. Watching the look on their faces when it is their turn to pick which color is priceless.
We will announce the spectrum of colored pencil options at a later date as we are in negotiations with potential suppliers. The kit comes with 12 2H leads and we will offer black lead options in the following hardness: 4H, 2H, H, HB, B, 2B and 4B and Red and Blue. We recommend H and HB for little kids.
AND, all pencil component options, whether it is 12 leads, 6 plain ferrules, 6 ferrule/erasers or 12 cedar blanks are all under $9.00. The material costs for making beautiful custom pencils will be right around $2.50 each. Combine that with the fun of involving your entire family is simply unbeatable.
When I return from China we will begin filming the HOW-TO video tutorial but to wet your whistle, here is a short video peak at one of our prototypes in the skunk lab. I removed the crank and I am using a Dewalt power screwdriver (I love this tool) with an almost dead battery. Each die is really a circular plane iron and serves as not only the cutting edge, but the chip breaker as well. It doesn’t get any easier than this!
Pencil Precision is a complete hobby/factory in a box and this is what it isn’t: a toy. This is a professionally made tool that will last generations–which is a whole lot longer than a smart phone.
The post Pencil Precision Video, China Field Trip, Other Bridge City News appeared first on John's Blog.
In my November 2017 editor’s note, I wrote about two $5,000,000 lawsuits filed against Menard’s and Home Depot for “false and misleading advertising” for selling 2×4 lumber that isn’t actually 2″ x 4″. You can read that here, if you like. Last night, Nicholas Vanaria (a friend from Instagram) let me know that the suit against Menard’s was dismissed. U.S. District Judge Edmond Change threw out the case on October 6. […]
My two most recent, all together. Plenty of detail work left before moving onto the varnishing, but I can now heft them to my shoulder and they feel like fiddles. That's fun.
I woke up on Sunday morning feeling a little under the weather. My back was a little stiff, I had a headache, and I didn’t sleep very well on top of it. I almost put my Washington’s Desk project on hold, but I knew that if I didn’t get started I probably never would. So I cleared out the garage and got to work.
The plan was to mill up enough material for the desk top, the breadboard ends, the legs, as well as cleats for the desktop underside and the cross stretcher. So I chose 3 boards, two 6 footers and one 4 footer (all of the boards were 12 inches wide by 1 inch thick). To mill down those boards I used my Ryobi surface planer. For the record, this isn’t what I consider a great or even good tool. I purchased it almost 14 years ago while doing a kitchen remodel. It does the job, but it is loud and messy. Nonetheless, I had to work with the tools I have, so I checked the blades, and they were reasonably sharp, so I started milling.
What made this such an arduous process was the collection of the shavings. Because I rarely use power tools, I don’t have a dust collector or even a large shop vac. The shop vac I do have is perfectly fine for cleaning out a car or keeping a workbench clear, but it is not made for large scale work. But once again I had to use what was available, and it was not fun. Initially, I was hoping to finish up with two boards just over 7/8” thick for the top and one board just over ¾” thick for the legs. But, I underestimated the amount of material I needed to remove. The boards I was working with were very rough sawn, as in just a shade beyond still having bark. So I had to remove nearly ¼” of material just to get down to usable boards that were flat. And it also meant a lot of starting and stopping to empty out the shop vac. I was actually sore from the constant bending over to pick up the shavings, which I did at the very least fifty times. In the end, I filled up an entire lawn bag with shavings.
After the boards were milled I used the table saw to trim the two boards for the desk top to rough width and length (as well as getting rid of planer snipe). I then aligned the boards for a nice grain pattern (at least to my eye), and trimmed the boards to very near final size. To join the boards I decided to match-plane them.
Match planing works well, especially if your plane is set properly. I used a strange sequence: jointer plane first, a couple of passes with a jack plane set to take gossamer thin shavings, jointer again, and then one final pass with the jack. I’m not sure how other woodworkers match-plane, but when I am able to take a full width, full length shaving from both boards I call it joined. And in a surprisingly short time the boards were ready to be glued. I am very happy with the joint, as it was air tight, and the top is thankfully nice and flat. It will take a good amount of plane work and sanding, and probably some scraping as well (there are a few funky grain spots) to get the top ready for finish, but I should have a top ¾ thick when all is said and done, which is a bit less than I wanted, but hardly the end of the world.
At that point, I decided to call it a day. There was a lot, and I mean a lot, of clean up to do. In fact, I spent nearly as much time setting up and cleaning up as I did woodworking. This coming weekend I am hoping to get the legs sawn to finish length and width, the breadboard ends ready, and with a little luck I may possibly have the entire base and desk top ready for assembly. I was a little worried over laying out the legs, but I figured out a simple solution that I will detail in my next post.
If you’ve been looking for an affordable workbench to take your shop to the next level, look no further than the European Workbench, available at Highland Woodworking.
In the video below, Morton shows off the diverse capabilities of the European Workbench.
Note: This is crossposted from Crucible Tool.
Dividers work better if the tips match the job you’re doing. For layout chores, such as scribing arcs or setting out your joinery, the dividers’ tips need to match the wood you are using. Sharper tips will prevent the tips from skating on hard woods. And dull tips are needed in soft woods to prevent from marking the work too deeply.
In this video, Raney demonstrates how to make the tips sharper or duller using fine sandpaper stuck to a flat surface (a granite block in this instance). Changing the tips from dull to sharp takes only about two minutes (I timed him). And the results are worth the extra effort.
These techniques work on almost all dividers, not just our Improved Pattern Dividers.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Crucible Tool, Uncategorized
|this is past due|
|every shop needs a few different sizes of these|
|there's the yoke pin|
|all blown dry|
|a moment of weakness|
Gaps on the inside of dovetails bug me for whatever reason. I think what is causing it is I'm moving my knife line ever so slightly as I chop. I have come close a few times with almost no gaps but I have yet to do any 100% gap free. I got this for the fixing the gaps more than for registration. I also got it because Deneb said it will make bread board ends.
|it's a heavy one too (one kilo)|
|run a gauge line|
|I figured it out|
The problem was me digging into the wood too hard with gauge. My attempt to make the line as deep as I could was too much for the gauge. I just happened to look at the cutter wheel as I was trying to make a deeper line and I saw the cutter wheel peel off like a shaving coming up through the mouth of a plane.So I think if I let up on the depth of the line, my cutter wheels should last. I forgot to add them to the LN order when I bought the 140 block plane.
|I am not doing something right here|
I think I made a mistake in not removing the right side plate on the plane. That would allow the iron to get up tight into the bottom of the rabbet. The shoulder on this looks like crap and it should be crisp and clean.
|better on the second run|
|new saw for Miles's toolbox|
|a carcass saw?|
|ripped ok but the saw is dull|
|hard to crosscut|
|the teeth look like crap (Disston #4)|
|small rip saw - jointing the the tops of the teeth|
|the toe after I sharpened them|
|time to test my work|
|not too bad|
|not bad for my second attempt at sharpening|
|missed a few|
|sharpie marks the rework spots|
What is a nonce?
answer - something that is made or used only once
Check out the new “Library” and “For Sale or Trade” tabs in the menu. Here’s why:
Over the summer, new guild member Barb Siddiqui donated a treasure trove of mostly hardback woodworking books to us. In other words, we have a library! Included in the 500+ titles are some of the best ever published: all of The Best of Fine Woodworking books, woodturning books, carving books, books on making period furniture, you name it.
The library is housed at Lombard’s Hardwoods, and all volumes are available for check-out by guild members. In the notebook provided, print your name and contact info, along with the names of the titles you are borrowing, then be sure to bring them back. If someone might want a page or two copied out a particular book, we recommend taking a picture of the pages with your phone or tablet.
The “For Sale or Trade” idea has been bandied around for awhile now, and since yours truly (Autumn) will have to make all of the postings and updates, I was skeptical about starting it, but we’ll give it a go and see where it goes. I’ll do my best to keep it updated.
If you have a woodworking related item to sell or trade, send me the info, with photos, to email@example.com. Be sure to provide your name (some email addresses are obscure) and your contact information. Please send me an email advising me when to take down the posting, otherwise, you’ll keep getting inquiries.
Darrell Peart is coming to town! Date and other info are on the sidebar.
In preparing for the sessions at The Anthony Hay Shop of CW I decided at the last minute to toss in the materials needed to make sandpaper, not knowing whitener or not there would be any interest. It turned out that a lot of the participants were indeed interested, and several told me a very common question from the visiting public was some variation of, “Did they have sandpaper in the old days?”
So I’m glad I had what was needed.
We started with moderate weight rag paper, albeit machine made, not hand cast (maybe next time).
Wetting the paper both sides relaxed it so it would pucker less when the hot glue was applied to one side.
We were using 135 gws glue since it had plenty of adhesion properties plus was much more flexible than higher grades, making it more usable since it would not fracture when bent.
Once the glue has been on the paper long enough such that it is tacky but not wet, the surface is sprinkled with fine frit, the ground glass that was often used as the abrasive for some ancient sandpapers (hence the common terminology of “glass paper”). You want the glue tacky enough to adhere the frit, but not wet enough to soak into it and turn it into a big chunk on the surface.
The glued sheet with frit is shaken or brushed so that the frit covers the whole surface, and the piece is set aside. Once the glue has hardened adequately the excess frit is brushed or shaken off and the sheet is allowed to dry fully.
And voila’, you have a genuine new piece of antique sandpaper about 180 grit.
Being been inspired by the original Moving Fillister plane I own (image above), I tried to build this rebate plane with adjustable fence, capable of very good work along the grain as well as across the grain.
Its skewed blade (20°) eases the cut, while a nicker, situated just before the main blade, has the purpose of pre-cutting wood fibers and obtaining a clean result across the grain too.
I used walnut wood for the plane body and wedge, while the sole, the parallel fence and the depth stop are of hornbeam, a wood particulary resistent to the wear and which creates an attractive chromatic effect when couple to a darker wood as the walnut. A hornbeam piece is inserted at the top of the plane, too.
The parallel fence moves on the sole through two elongated holes and is kept in place by two M6 bolts which are screwed in the correspondent nuts inserted into the sole.
Three years ago I learned about dynaGlide Plus from Richard Welder at Micro Fence. It is a Silicone and Teflon free dry boundary lubricant. I have used it principally to clean the swarf off the bearing surfaces of my shooting boards and to lubricate them. It functions well on metal planes, edge tools, bits, bearings, and abrasive surfaces.
Vogt Toolworks is now a distributor. Click here to view the Product Page.
Woodworker, author, actor, humorist and all-around nice guy (with a most excellent giggle) Nick Offerman and Offerman Woodshop are teaming with Would Works through October 30 for a $20,000 fundraising campaign. Would Works is a Los Angeles non-profit that teaches people who are homeless or who live in the city’s Skid Row neighborhood create and sell handcrafted wood items as they work toward a specific financial goal – simple goals many […]
The post Nick Offerman Woodworking Non-profit Matching Grant appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.
When wedging through-tenons, I prefer to orient the wedge diagonally across the tenon. This is a somewhat atypical way to work, so an explanation is in order. A diagonal wedge has the advantage of closing up any gaps on all four edges of a rectangular mortise. That’s because it pushes the tenon against all four walls of the mortise. The more typical wedge, on the other hand, will push against […]
I just finished a desk commissioned by some clients who wanted the piece to be made from a walnut log they’d had lying around a few years – in other words, longer than ideal. They had it sawn and kiln-dried this summer and brought the boards out to my shop in September. My clients wanted to keep the live edges on the desktop, which posed a challenge: Their log had […]