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Opptak av nytt medlem, Kai Johansen med nybygd kopi av skottbenken på Egge museum

Norsk Skottbenk Union - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:18pm

Kai Johansen har nyleg presentert dokumentasjon av skottbenken på Egge museum. Ein veldig interessant Skottbenk med mange fine detaljar. I dag har han gjort ferdig arbeidet med å snikre kopi av denne benken. Han har også laga ferdig okshøvel og skottokse og viser at benken og høvlane fungerer. Vi kan med dette ynskje velkommen som medlem i vår union.


Categories: Hand Tools

Workbench personalities

Oregon Woodworker - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 9:01am
Many of you will have seen this series by Christopher Schwarz.  It is amusing and perhaps of some value as a cautionary tale for those about to build a bench.  I have a different take on this subject though.

Woodworkers have explored the design of workbenches exhaustively over the centuries.  Like the foods of different cultures, they all have something to offer and, based on personal preference, each of us likes some more than others.  Some of this has to do with the tools we use, the projects we build, the space we have ... but personal taste plays a big role.

I chose to build a traditional Nicholson workbench and I couldn't be happier with it.  I like it for its historical significance, its ingenious design and its solid functionality, and I also like the look of it.  Roubo?  No question it's a great bench with a lot of advantages, but I don't like it.  Mostly, I am put off by some of its proponents.  A workbench is not a piece of furniture.  This is not a lot different from the fact that I prefer London to Paris.  Scandinavian benches?  Haven't used them, don't know.  I like the food though.  Moravian?  Ditto, although I haven't had the food (but I'd like to try it).

When I try to look at the subject objectively, I think it comes down to this.  A good hand tool workbench is really really solid, has the right dimensions and is good at workholding.  It's made from readily available materials that are reasonably priced.  Most of the rest is taste.

Not much to say about solid.  My bench goes thump and it does not slide.  So will others of many different designs.  The heavier the better.  Workholding?  Good ones of many different designs are just fine.  I'm an outlier, but I wouldn't have a bench vise again.  I like the Moxon.  I like the Nicholson skirts for vertical workholding but I am sure a sliding deadman works fine.  Dimensions?  It's got to be a good fit for you and some of us are pretty sensitive to them.  For me, 22 inches wide, 8 feet long and palm height is just right.  Materials?  Oregonians should make theirs from douglas-fir.  Buy local if you can.

I think I could be happy with any bench that satisfied these criteria.

I am about to build a basic workbench for my son, who doesn't have time to do a lot of woodworking right now but has an interest.  It will be one of two designs.  My first choice is the basic Nicholson bench designed by Mike Siemsen.  I can't say enough good about this.  It's cheap, easy and highly functional, a really great first bench.  You won't like the other one, which is based on the first bench I ever built.  I would construct a base from douglas-fir 4x4s mortised together (though you can use Simpson brackets like I did years ago) and put a top on it made from three layers of 3/4" baltic birch plywood.  Five feet long is all he has room for.  It would stay dead flat forever.  This is a much better bench than you might think.  You can make either of these benches in a weekend.

So, I guess I have revealed my workbench personality:  unpretentious, plain, functional, solid. dependable.  Whole grain wheat bread, not croissants and not Danish rye.
Categories: Hand Tools

New Old Stock of Italian Made Breast Drills

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 8:20am

A while ago I blogged about a Breast Drill that I bought on eBay and restored. I also mentioned that it is hard to find a good quality drills with concealed gears on the market today. After I wrote the blog I found a supplier of drills who held (and still does) a few tools on stock. I bought one drill for myself and three for our woodworking program. The […]

The post New Old Stock of Italian Made Breast Drills appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Hand Tool Q&A Live: Shoulder Planes, Lathes, and Tool Cabinets

The Renaissance Woodworker - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 7:54am

Live Hand Tool Q&A

Thanks to everyone who came out and asked questions. Its always a lot of fun. Mostly I get questions about tools so I’m still waiting on someone to ask about a technique so I can actually do some woodworking in these events instead of just talking the whole time! I guess we all love tools right?

Lots of topics covered in this session from types of chisels, to tool chests, to pole lathes, and shoulder planes. I even spent some time talking about my experience working at a living history museum.

The Questions You Asked

  • 1:00 What I’m working on now in my shop
  • 7:05 How big can a panel be before warping is an issue?
  • 11:40 Halfback Saws
  • 15:20 What Screwdrivers do you use?
  • 16:00 Have you used a spring pole lathe?
  • 19:12 How did you come up with the slope of the Perch seat
  • 24:40 Tool chest vs tool cabinet?
  • 29:14 Socket chisels vs tang chisels?
  • 35:20 What is working at a living history museum like?
  • 42:20 Where to find good chisels larger than 1″?
  • 45:25 What is a Firmer chisel?
  • 48:08 Used a Hovarter vise?
  • 50:10 Spill planes?
  • 54:45 Use for a Skew Block plane?
  • 59:40 Advice on a small shop bench set up?
  • 1:07:06 Dust collection for the hand tool shop?
  • 1:10:00 Is space isn’t an issue how big would you make your workbench?
  • 1:13:29 Budget clamp recommendations?
  • 1:18:50 Most useful router plane blade size?
  • 1:20:22 Which size shoulder plane do I need?

Categories: Hand Tools

The 6 Personalities of Workbench Builders

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:47am

saw_bench

This post is by request. Several people have asked me to assemble all the links to the stories in this series in one posting so it would be easy to share or to find in the future.

Workbench Personality No. 1: The Engineer

Workbench Personality No. 2: The Traditionalist

Workbench Personality No. 3: The Cheapskate

Workbench Personality No. 4: The Best of Everything

Workbench Personality No. 5: Frank Sinatra

Workbench Personality No. 6: The Undecider

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

Arched Bridge – Finis

The Barn on White Run - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 5:02am

The final day of bridge building involved cutting, painting, and installing the decking, which was made from the same 1×6 material used for the beams.  Prior to installing the decking I mounted electrical wires to the underside of the structure.  These are the wires that 1) carry electrons from the solar panels on the cabin to the power system, and 2) will eventually carry electrons back to the cabin from the system.

Before

After

A little debris clearing, including the old plank walkways, and the job was done for now.  I’ll let the paint weather a bit, then wait for a warmer sunny day to sand it and apply another coat of paint, sprinkling the sticky paint with play sand to give it better traction.

Between the new stone wall, arched bridge, and new wall on the lean-to on the old barn (more about that later), the vista from the side deck has been transformed.

The Rabbit Hutch – Part 8

The Bench Blog - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 1:00am

The rabbit hutch project is just about complete, but before I wrap things up there is one last element that I want to add.  I decided as part of my design to include an insulated box that the rabbits could go into in the worst of the cold weather.  In the wild, they’d be able to go underground to escape the worst of winter’s bite and it doesn’t seem fair to stick them in a wire cage above ground without adding a little extra protection from the elements.  I wanted to make a small box that was somewhat insulated and that their body heat will keep the box warm.  Sort of a hutch within a hutch.

Before I get any further, if you are so inclined, you can see the earlier posts in this series here:

With the roof made, I started on the insulated box.  I’ll make a frame from 1-inch square Douglas fir and skin it inside and out with ¼-inch ply.

Starting to cut the pieces to make the insulated box.

Starting to cut the pieces to make the insulated box.

I milled up some stock, cut it to length, and then cut bridal joints to fit the frames together.

All the stock, ready to go.

All the stock, ready to go.

Bridal joints, cut at the table-saw.

Bridal joints, cut at the table-saw.

When assembled, the parts make three rectangles.

When assembled, the parts make three rectangles.

Each was glued and clamped.

Each was glued and clamped.

One end will be a solid wall, but the other needs to have an opening for the rabbits to get in and out.  Since the opening will always be open, I’m not sure quite how effective the insulation will be, but it can’t hurt.

I added some dividers to frame the will become the entrance.

I added some dividers to frame that will become the entrance.

Starting to cut the quarter-inch ply that will become the walls of the box.

Starting to cut the quarter-inch ply that will become the walls of the box.

The plywood gets glued and nailed on, and some spacers were installed with pocket hole screws.

The plywood gets glued and nailed on, and some spacers were installed with pocket hole screws.

I added some isolation from left over batting from my chicken coop project.  I realized that there wasn’t very many points to attach the floor, so I added some scrap blocks with glue.

Preparing to install the floor.

Preparing to install the floor.

 

After the floor, was the panel for the inside roof.

A piece of plywood added the inside roof.

A piece of plywood added to the inside roof.

Followed by the inside back wall.

More insulation into the back of the box.

More insulation into the back of the box.

Covering the inside end.

Covering the inside end.

Now it's starting to look like a box.

Now it’s starting to look like a box.

Installing some scrap pieces to support the inside end plywood.

Installing some scrap pieces to support the inside end plywood.

More insulation.

More insulation.

The end piece of plywood gets glued and nailed on.

The end piece of plywood gets glued and nailed on.

I’m not sure if the insulation will help, but it is easy to add.

Now for the other end.

Now for the other end.

I added the left end, which covers the door opening.

I added the left end, which covers the door opening.

You can see where the plywood covers the door.

You can see where the plywood covers the door.

I added the outside roof panel.

Things are progressing nicely.

Things are progressing nicely.

Cutting out the excess plywood from the door opening.

Cutting out the excess plywood from the door opening.

With everything assembled, I rounded over all the edges with a trim router then spackled and sanded the whole box.

I used a round over bit in the palm router to soften all the edges of the box.

I used a round over bit in the palm router to soften all the edges of the box.

After some spackle and sanding.

After some spackle and sanding.

I decided that since the end would be open all the time, I should add a small divider to the inside of the box.

I installed a removable divider.

I installed a removable divider.

The divider is held in place by some wooden strips that are glued to the inside of the box.

The divider is held in place by some wooden strips that are glued to the inside of the box.

I didn’t have enough 1″ Doug fir stock to make the doors, but I did have some appropriately sized Cedar in the lumber rack, and used that for some of the pieces.

Time to make some doors for the box. Bridal joints again.

Time to make some doors for the box. Bridal joints again.

Glued and clamped.

Glued and clamped.

These will get plywood door skins.

These will get plywood door skins.

Here's where they will fit.

Here’s where they will fit.

The inside plywood skin is installed flush with the frame.

The inside plywood skin is installed flush with the frame.

These doors are also skinned with plywood.  On the inside of the door, the plywood is flush with the frame.  However, on the outside, the skin overlaps the edge of the frame.  This meant of the outside skin had to be quite accurately positioned.

Glueing on the plywood skins.

Glueing on the plywood skins.

I’m really starting to like the technique of using your bench and holdfasts as a giant clamp.  It works great.

Holdfasts provide great even clamping pressure.

Holdfasts provide great even clamping pressure.

Laying out the hinges.

Laying out the hinges.

Since this is an outdoor project, I used galvanized hinges with brass pins.

Hinge mortises cut.

Hinge mortises cut.

First door installed.

First door installed.

Chopping more hinge mortises.

Chopping more hinge mortises.

Insulated doors installed.

Insulated doors installed.

They just need a bid of paint.

They just need a bid of paint.

A wooden spacer on which to mount the catch.

A wooden spacer on which to mount the catch.

Installing some door latches.

Installing some door latches.

That’s about it for the insulated box, but before I install it, I decided to make a barrier for the ramp opening on the upper level.  This was quick and simple from a couple of pieces of ply and Doug Fir.

A quick barrier to go around the ramp opening.

A quick barrier to go around the ramp opening.

A lick of paint.

A lick of paint.

Ready to install.

Ready to install.

Nailed in place.

Nailed in place.

With that done, I can install the insulated box that sits above it.  In the below image you might just make out my pencil marks.

Marking screw locations on the inside back wall of the hutch.

Marking screw locations on the inside back wall of the hutch.

Drilling a quick pilot hole from the inside.

Drilling a quick pilot hole from the inside.

And then a countersunk hole from the backside.

And then a countersunk hole from the backside.

Installed on the back wall. Now it just needs a ramp.

Installed on the back wall. Now it just needs a ramp.

All the screws installed. That box isn't going anywhere!

All the screws installed. That box isn’t going anywhere!

As the box sits up above the main floor, the rabbits will need another ramp to get into it.  I used the same method as on the earlier ramp.

Time to make another ramp.

Time to make another ramp.

Nothing fancy, just side rails and plywood.

Nothing fancy, just side rails and plywood.

And some glued on bits for traction.

And some glued on bits for traction.

The ramp was screwed to the side of the box.

The ramp was screwed to the side of the box.

Here's where it sits.

Here’s where it sits.

And some guide rails.

And some guide rails.

And that’s all folks!  The rabbit hutch is done.

In the next post, I’ll clear and level a spot of ground to install the hutch and show all the final reveal photos.

More soon.

 

– Jonathan White

something is wrong with the blog........

Accidental Woodworker - Thu, 12/07/2017 - 12:58am
Over the past few days I've gotten some comments and emails about my blog. It seemed that some people aren't getting the feed from Unplugged shop. I don't know what is causing it but the blog on my end has been acting screwy for a while. I noticed it over a week ago when the numbers from the blog tanked. They had been fairly steady for the longest time and then poof, they were in the crapper. Since then the numbers have fluctuated up and down. Again, I have no idea what is causing it.

The blog at work staring acting up before the numbers went awry. At first I thought it was the work servers but now I don't think so. I can't always get the current day's blog to come up at work. I gave up looking at stats because they fail to load 99.9% of the time I try.  Sometimes I can read the comments but in the last two weeks, except one instance, I've not been able to post my comments.  I get a 'page can't be displayed' error when I try to post comments. For the most part my blog at work is only for reading, when I can get it to load, and not much more of anything else.

I found the work snafu a PITA. I write the blog at home and I would proof read it one last time each morning at work. In past two weeks I've been able to do that once. I have also been publishing the blog from my phone.  Publishing from my phone is a fun filled adventure especially so because it seems I suffer from FFS - fat finger syndrome.

So far at home, I haven't had any of the work related hiccups. The numbers are still OTL but everything else seems to be working ok. I can read, post comments, and view stats. Maybe the servers at work are the problem but I am hesitant to blame them. I would think the problem would be more consistent and iron clad. Occasionally I have been able to have full functionality and that doesn't sound like a computer problem.

handle stock

I dug this chunk of walnut out of my scrap box and used the tablesaw to get a couple of pieces to make a handle.

looks better than poplar would
I will shape this so it looks better than a chunk of wood in the middle.

finally got rid of the tear out
I used the big scraper and it worked. I was using small scrapers that were made from saw blades. I got rid of the tear out by using a corner of the big scraper. I sanded it after with 220 and it's ready for some finish.

grabbie hollows
I used the #8 round to start these but the going was tough because the iron is dull. I finished the shaping of it with a rat tail rasp. I smoothed it with some 100 grit wrapped around a dowel.

done
I rounded the top corners off to lighten it up. It doesn't feel to bad to grab. I'm sure the person getting this doesn't have ham hock size hands. This should be just right for her.

I am thinking about how to secure this and the cardboard bottom too. Right now I'm leaning in the direction of making a cutout in the cardboard for the handle.


more shellac work
 I think I will call the orange boxes done. They are not in great looking shape but still look like the old kitchen cabinets. The other box is not done as I plan on putting at least 3-4 more coats on it.

I ordered the plywood for the saw till. I got a 30x48 inch piece of 6mm plywood. I also bought a couple of pieces of 12mm to experiment with. When I will get it I don't know. It took 5 days for the 6mm to come from my last order but with xmas season shipping, your guess will be as good as mine. I will finish the grooves on the saw till this weekend.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Thomas Edison (the light bulb inventor) was married twice and fathered 6 children?

Anarchist’s 2017 Gift Guide, Day 8: Clamptite Tool

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 7:35pm

I love wooden tool handles. Their only downside is they break and need to be repaired or replaced. If you prefer to repair your tool handles, the inexpensive Clamptite tool is your best friend. The Clamptite is a bit difficult to explain to people who haven’t used it. Basically, it is a device that can pull a wire tight and then cleverly knot it around an object, such as a […]

The post Anarchist’s 2017 Gift Guide, Day 8: Clamptite Tool appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Categories of projects

Mulesaw - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 4:46pm
A comment on my recent post by Jeremy of JMAW Works gave me the idea for this post.

I have for a long time been following some general rules of how to categorize a project. These categories help me decide what to do and when.

This is the first time I have tried to write them down and put actual words on the categories, but I have more or less followed them for a long time.
They are all aimed at projects I do at home.

Instead of categories based on form or building method such as chairs, cupboards, chests, turnings, dovetails etc. my categories are primarily based on the weather and secondly the time of day.

Main categories are:
1) Nice dry weather .
2) Light rain or grey weather.
3) Rain.

Off course if a job can be handled in rainy weather, it can technically be handled in fine weather as well, but not necessarily the other way around.

Sub categories:
A) Day.
B) Afternoon.
C) Evening.

Day jobs are jobs that require natural light, and perhaps other shops to be open, and also the longest continuous stretch without disturbances.
Afternoon jobs are jobs that can be done when the boys are home from school, they might like to participate in the job, or I have to be able to leave the project at very short notice to help them or to drive them to soccer practice etc.
Evening jobs are jobs are for the time left after eating supper. During the weekdays our family normally eat supper at 5:30 in the afternoon, but it can be as early as 5 PM or as late as 6:30 too.
So a couple of hours in the shop is not unheard of until our youngest needs to be tucked in.

Whenever I have something that I would like to get done while at home, I place that project into one main category and into one or more of the sub categories.

This approach has helped me to work efficiently on multiple projects, and I like being efficient while I am at home.
Ever since I adopted the idea, I have been a lot better at not getting angry that I had to stop one project due to weather issues, because I would know exactly what other project I could switch over to.

My list of projects that I would like to get done while at home this time will get assigned to the following categories:

Bi-annular control of cars: 3)-A
This is a job that I don't plan on doing myself, and the mechanic can work on the cars inside. I just have to drive the cars to him and also later to the actual control.

Repair Volvo Valps: 2)-A
I have a machinery shed in which the Valps are parked. There is a concrete floor, so even with a bit of water I can lay on my back and work on them from beneath.
These jobs are best done without getting too distracted or disturbed.

Install panels and handrail in the small barn: 2)-A
I need to move in and out of the barn a bit with all the boards for the panels, so full rain is not nice for this job.

Make leather belts with Laura: 3)-C
This is a typical evening project. Something to be done in the shop and easy to go to and from during the process. It will most likely be a Friday or Saturday project.

Run the sawmill: 2)-AB
Dry weather is nice but not a complete requirement for running the sawmill. If it is too wet, it is simply unpleasant to go outside all the time with off-cuts and getting a new log etc. The boys like to help sawing with the sawmill, and I can stop anytime to drive and pick them up etc.

Empty the horses boxes and whitewash of  the stable: 3)-A
This is a large project,  inside save for emptying the wheelbarrow into the trailer.

In addition to these projects that were mentioned in my last post, there is also the ongoing list of perpetual projects, like:
Making and stacking firewood: 1)-AB
Cleaning and organizing the barn: 3)-ABC
Building stuff in the workshop: 3)-ABC
Garden/yard work: 1)-AB

Since the weather is generally bad From October to April, in those months it is especially important for me to have a few projects of each main category, so I won't risk wasting the single day of December without rain on doing indoor stuff.

Does anybody else categorize projects something like this?


Categories: Hand Tools

Canadian Sales Temporarily Suspended

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 11:39am

19316-01

We’ve had to stop selling our products in Canada temporarily until we can find a new way to ship our goods across the border.

Our warehouse in Canada has decided to drop us as a customer to focus on other aspects of their business. John is hard at work trying to get a replacement service lined up. Because we are in the middle of the holiday season, however, it’s impossible to really get a shipping service’s attention until January.

We apologize for this and hope we can get it resolved quickly. In the meantime, Lee Valley Tools carries our full line of books.

— Christopher Schwarz


Filed under: Uncategorized
Categories: Hand Tools

Wraparound Support

Paul Sellers - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 10:00am

“I just wanted to congratulate with your staff for the great quality videos that are surrounding your work. During the videos I noticed many improvements in descriptions, camera captures and the quality of images. That’s very important for people that view the projects from home. Thanks.” “Thanks Giorgio, I’m a fortunate woodworker. Personally, I think […]

Read the full post Wraparound Support on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Thoughts about what to build when I get home.

Mulesaw - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 8:25am
I  haven't been very productive this time on board, mostly because the weather has been miserable, so as soon as you get off the shift you had better try to get some sleep, because no one knows when the ship will be moving so much that sleeping is impossible, and holding on to something is the best solution for staying in the same spot.

But I am looking forward to signing off in a weeks time, and I have been thinking a bot about projects that I would like to complete the next home period:

Both our regular cars will have to go through the bi-annular inspection in the beginning of 2018, so I'd better make sure they are OK.

Both Volvo Valps are down at the moment. The black one needs a new set of points and a new capacitor, possibly a new fuel hose from the tank to the pump and a new muffler. The green one needs a new set of timing gears.
These cars are "essential" to my well being. I really like to drive them, and getting one of them back in business will get a high priority.

I would like to complete the interior of the small barn, and perhaps install a hand rail for the staircase as well. But apart from that I don't think I'll work much out there this time.

Our daughter would like to make some leather belts for her friends as Christmas presents, and I am looking forward to helping her with that project. The plan is to make one belt that will look like a saddle girth for the horse interested friend, and the other friend would apparently love to get a bright red semi wide belt. As luck would have it, I have some bright cherry red shiny leather that I haven't been able to use in any project, so making a belt of some of it would be great.

I need to work the sawmill a bit too, so we can get a new load of sawdust for the horses. I am also starting to run low on regular boards, so a day or two spent re-stocking the barn at home is also pretty high up on the list.
If I manage to produce a lot of sawdust, I would like to empty the boxes of the horses for the old sawdust that has been there during the last year, and at the same time give the stable a coat of whitewash. But for that project to work out, I'll need at least one Volvo Valp to be running. I need the 4WD to haul the laden trailer onto a wet field and unload the old sawdust.

It might sound like a lot, but my experience is that I can be fairly efficient when I am at home, given that I can devote the entire day to a project. So there should hopefully still be plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season with the family and take the dog for long walks and perhaps even ride the horses if the weather permits it.

And who knows, perhaps some last minute projects will suddenly find their way onto the list.




Categories: Hand Tools

Digital Artistry — Meet the Artist: Bob Spangler

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 6:48am

Meet the artists from the December 2017 issue How five masterful makers integrate CNC and CAD technology into their woodworking In the December 2017 issue of Popular Woodworking magazine, the article, Digital Artistry gives the readers a peek at what five professional woodworkers are doing with digital tools in their shops. Each has an extensive traditional woodworking background and many years of experience before they added digital tools like CAD […]

The post Digital Artistry — Meet the Artist: Bob Spangler appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

T-shirt Design

Journeyman's Journal - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 6:14am

I’m going to make a few t-shirts for the shop. My wife has thrown out most of shop shirts and I bought some new ones, but none of them are tax deductible and as the magazine’s name is a registered business why not make a few shirts and a mug with its name on it.  It’ll be great to show the world that there are some of us who won’t allow themselves to be replaced by robotics. The world is so eager to move in that direction and of course the sheep will always be lured by the wolves.  But anyhow here are two colours I’m going to order, not to forget the mug, we can’t have work without tea.

I’m not sure what they will cost me as I haven’t yet placed the order, but if you wish to order one shoot me an email and if you agree with whatever the price is plus shipping and I’ll place an order for you.  All proceeds would go towards buying lumber for upcoming project articles.


Categories: Hand Tools

Arched Bridge – Day Two

The Barn on White Run - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 5:14am

Our task for Day Two was to complete the two structural beams of the arched bridge, so we simply continued building up the glued-and-screwed laminations until each of the curved beams got to the full 10-inch depth I wanted.

After that I affixed the cross-ribs to tie the two beams together.  The end result was something with near-zero vertical deflection under load, but a little too much lateral wiggle for my taste.  I solved that in the very end, but for now the structure was done.

Before laying on the decking I painted everything I could reach with polyurinate paint, which is actually the appropriate application for this product.

Saw Sharpening Essentials - Gramercy Tools Saw Vise (Back in Stock) + Vallorbe Saw Files (They Finally Arrived)

Tools For Working Wood - Wed, 12/06/2017 - 4:00am

I've said many time that a poorly sharpened saw is better than a dull saw. For some people, saw sharpening itself is tedious, although you can get into the zone and find your zen in sharpening. I have the additional challenge of declining vision, which translates into trouble with close work, so I use an Optivisor so that I can see the saw teeth. Overall I think doing a good job on a saw is a lot easier than sharpening a chisel.

The characteristics of a good saw vise is that it holds the saw rigid with no vibration. Vibration might not always come off as chattering noise, but it always will shorten the life of your files, and in general make the job of sharpening take longer.

If you use hand saws of any kind in the workshop, having a saw sharpening strategy is as important as a chisel or plane iron sharpening strategy. Since I hate fighting my equipment, I went from an old Disston saw vise (which was a little warn out and slipped a lot - we fixed it) to a larger Wentworth saw vise. It was the bee's knees for us, until it broke. It inspired the last stop on this line, our own Gramercy Tools Saw Vise, which is patterned after the Wentworth. Our vise is make of thick sheet steel, not a casting, so it won't break. I've never been a fan of the two-pieces-of- wood-clamped-in-a-vise substitute for a saw vise. I know it works; it's not as rigid as a steel vise, but it works fine in a pinch. I personally always figured that - just as I have upgraded by chisel sharpening over the years - a good saw vise was worth the investment. (Yes, I know I get the employee discount, but I work long hours and I've earned it!)
From top: 3-square, regular 6" saw file, needle file
While we were busy perfecting the Gramercy Tools Saw Vise, options for great saw files disappeared. First we stocked Nicholson files, but they moved offshore. Then we stocked Bahco. They were okay but they didn't have a wide enough range. Then for years we stocked Grobet. Grobet was never a manufacturer, just a brand. Their Swiss-made files were actually made for them by Vollorbe, a huge company located in Switzerland with a modest profile in the US. A couple of years ago Grobet and Vollorbe had a dispute and ended their arrangement. Grobet sourced all their files from Italy (from Corradi) and from India (from an unknown company). Corradi makes a pretty good file, and I soon realized I didn't need Grobet to sell Corradi files. If I am going to sell Corradi files they might as well say "Corradi" on them and we began to import them. We have been pretty pleased. However, in our shop we discovered that the arises - the flat bit between the sizes of a triangular file - are pretty wide on a saw file (by any maker) and to get better performance we started filing our fine toothed dovetail saw with needle files. This works great and really speeds up the performance of the saw. On our hardware store saw and also our carcase and sash saws we got so disgusted with the inconsistency of the Grobet files that we started using 3-square files - which are seriously more expensive than saw files but have beautiful tiny arrises and gave us the best results. When we could not get them anymore from Grobet we began to order direct from Vallorbe. Even after we switched to Corradi files we ended up sticking with the 3-square files. The larger saw files work fine but the narrower arrises on the 3-square makes for faster cutting. It would be a no brainer except for the cost, and I suppose now that we are importing a range of Vallorbe files we really should do a test. So now, in addition to a full range of Corradi saw files, we are stocking a small range of Vallorbe files for sharpening saws.

My Best Buys of 2017

The Indian DIY & Woodworker - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 9:33pm


Looking back on 2017, I realized I haven’t bought a single power tool this year. This is partly because I already have a number of power tools and partly because these days I seem to prefer hand tools.
In general, my tool seeking capacity has greatly diminished. I seem to have most of what I need. Yes, there is always a secret hankering for some special, usually expensive, item but nothing I cannot shrug off.

So, what did I buy during the year? A lot of hardware, little accessories and a handful of very useful tools.

A friend brought a small Stanley pocket knife, the kind Paul Sellers uses, from the States. It cost about $10 and is well worth the price. Have a sharp edge that gets into tight corners and does the job of marking very well.

Stanley 10-049 Locking Blade Pocket Knife

The other nifty tool I bought on amazon.com was a carbide scraper. This tool is perfect for scraping glue from joints, especially a glued-up panel. I have blunted too many chisels and plane blades getting rid of hardened glue and an alternative was urgently required. This one cost me quite a bit after paying shipping and import duty - $45 or so. Seems an enormous amount for a scraper but believe me it has already proved its worth.

Bahco 665 Premium Ergonomic Carbide Scraper

I also ordered three Japanese chisels (3mm, 6mm and 25mm) from toolsfromjapan.com. In all it came to about Rs 4,800 (shipping included). The ones I got were the cheapest, called Maruya oire-nomi or regular chisels. This is an economy brand but the blades are outstanding - made of hard “white steel laminated to a soft steel main body, red oak handle and plain steel hoop.” The tips are sharp as hell and can be re-sharpened very quickly. Absolutely stupendous chisels! I got them for finer work, cleaning dovetails and so on.

Japanese economy grade chisels

I find most Japanese woodworking blades to be of the highest order. The laminated steel blades of Japanese plane irons and chisels are extraordinary: superbly sharp but relatively easy to hone.

Perhaps my best purchase was a Cabinet Scraper made by Veritas (www.leevalley.com). This tool cost me US $69 and was carried to India by a relative.  Veritas is a Canadian company that makes some of the world’s best hand tools. The precision and care that goes into the making of each of their tools is remarkable.

Veritas® Cabinet Scraper


A cabinet scraper is very much like a regular hand-held scraper except its blades are honed at a different angle. It is also much more ergonomic than regular scrapers. I purchased this because I often find complex grain almost impossible to hand plane without tear out. The alternative is sanding but that can be a tedious process. The cabinet scraper is an excellent tool for finishing surfaces.

When I looked back at my tool purchases this year, I realise they are modest. But what pleases me no end is that my needs too have become modest. Caring for a small set of good quality tools is preferable to a heap of mediocre ones most of which will lie unused.

In 2018, I will be looking for ways to procure two tools I have long set my mind on acquiring. One is a long Western style rip saw - the 24 or 26-inch beauties with shaped handles - and the other a pre-WW II Stanley number 4. Both tools are available on Ebay from time to time but shipping to India is very expensive and many sellers just don’t ship to India. 

Until then I have enough tools and a heap of timber to fashion.

Indranil Banerjie
6 December 2017
Categories: Hand Tools

Workbench Personality No. 6: The Undecider

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 5:23pm

KD Nicholson Workbench_underside

Of all the workbench personalities, only The Undecider has driven me to reconsider my career in woodworking.

Like herpes, when you encounter The Undecider, everything seems kinda normal at first. But then, inexplicably, you cannot get rid of him.

The Undecider: Hey, I LOVE that Robo workbench on your blog. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about wood movement, wood selection and anything you would change if you built it again.

Me: Sure…. And blah, blah, blah.

Six weeks pass.

The Undecider: Hey, that Nickelback Bench is amazing! It really got me rethinking my workbench plans. Do you think oak would work for this bench? Could I equip it with a quick-release vise?

Me: Sure…. And blah, blah, blah.

Seven weeks pass.

The Undecider: Hey, I just read the article on John White’s “New-Fangled Workbench.” I was wondering if you could compare the strengths and weaknesses of this bench with the Rubiot bench, the Niklesen and this Newfangled one.

Me: I’ve never even seen one of these benches from John White. I read his article, of course, and it’s very interesting. But I’m afraid you know just as much as I do.

Eight weeks pass.

The Undecider: Hey, have you seen the height-adjustable bench? Do you think that could be combined with a Robo bench and the planing platform from the Newfangled Bench? Love to get your thoughts on how this might work.

I put the email aside. I needed to think of how to answer this email without using the phrase: “How many Hot Wheels can fit up your butt?” This process takes a couple weeks and includes some guided meditation. Finally, I am ready to answer this without sounding like a pirate. Then my email dings.

The Undecider: Hey, me again. I’ve actually been thinking I should just buy a workbench and “get to the good part” – you know, making furniture. But I can’t decide if the Lie-Nielsen bench is really worth the money compared to the Sjoberg. Do you think you could do a side-by-side comparison for me? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Me: Dude, my thoughts would get me arrested in 22 states.

— Christopher Schwarz, editor, Lost Art Press
Personal site: christophermschwarz.com


Filed under: Uncategorized, Workbenches
Categories: Hand Tools

lost one, won one........

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 3:58pm
This past weekend I did a dry fit of the portable saw till and I wasn't too happy with it. The sides were cupped as were the ends but the long sides were worse. I got the box partially clamped but I didn't remove all of the cupping and seat the joints. The problem I was facing was flushing the top and bottom so I could then run my 6mm grooves.

If I couldn't do the flushing, I would have to come up with an alternative top and bottom. I have way too many calories invested in this to call it quits. What I came up with was gluing the till up as best I could without plowing any grooves in it. Once the joints had set I would glue and screw a piece of 6mm plywood on the top and bottom.

To hide the piles of the plywood edges I would plane a shallow rabbet all around the top and bottom edges. Gluing a piece of thin pine in the rabbet would hide the plywood edges and dress it up a bit.

the loss
This side doesn't look too bad. I could probably scrape and sand the proud areas even.

this side is ugly
Both the top and bottom pieces shifted on me. The horn also has a big divot that I hadn't noticed when I glued this. I don't want to use this on my #6 and I'll toss this in with my other spare plane parts. I ordered another knob and tote and I should have it by this weekend. Fingers are crossed on that.

cleaning up the inside of the till
this looks damn good as is
Almost all of the cup is clamped out and I didn't even use any cauls. I also didn't clamp the short sides.

the other end looks good too
This is very encouraging and I think I can skip gluing the panels on the outside top and bottom.

within a 16th of being square

figured it out
I put a caul on both ends on both ends so that the top was free. I had to put a clamp across the short side on the far end because I had to close up the half pin on the left side. The first check for twist showed a wee bit of it.

knocking the corners down
Before I can work on the twist I have flush the corners. Flushing the corners and getting them level will allow the plane to turn the corners without hanging up.

clamping the clamps
I got a scrap at each end and it held the box while I ran the plane around the edges.

done
I worked the two high corners first and then went 360 with the plane. Once I got a continuous shaving from the starting point to it's return, I was done.

twist is gone
gap in the half pin
This was worse than what I see here when I started this. The gap was larger and the pin was curled up and out. I'll repeat the clamping setup when I do the bottom.

very happy with this
I was moving the knife wall with my chopping.

the other side
I still plan on using the 140 to make shallow rabbets in the tail boards. I wanted to see if what I thought I was doing was the cause of my gappy inside joints. On this chopping I made sure I had a deep 'knife wall' before I started to whack the chisel with any oomph.

bottom had the same amount of twist as the top had
I didn't forget this time
One rather annoying habit I have is planing the bottom and removing my marked corners.  Not so this time and I remembered to label the inside top corners before I planed the top. After the bottom was flushed, I labeled the corners again on the top.

plowing stopped grooves
I plowed as much of the groove as I could. I will finish the remaining parts with a chisel. I can't use a router here because I only have a 1/4" iron and that is too wide for a 6mm groove.

almost came through at this end
I didn't realize that I was this far back. If it shows on the finished joint I'll fill it with putty because this till is getting painted.

my first chisel set was metric
I never realized or checked my first chisel set and assumed that it was imperial. It wasn't and this 6mm chisel is a good fit for the groove. I'll have to spend some time at the stones getting it ready before I can use it.

just enough room to clear the tail on both ends
the Record 044 irons
These are imperial which also means the plane was made before the 1960's switch to metric. The irons go from 1/8" up to 9/16" by 16ths.

My
Not a big deal for this application because I am painting the till. I used this as a practice to see if I could do it without nicking anything. 3 out 4 isn't that bad for a first try.

wee bit of a problem
My 6mm panel is 24x30 and I need another 3 inches. Looks like I'll be ordering another panel.

a quarter sheet will do
A 24x48 sheet of plywood will give up the two needed panels and I'll have half the sheet left over.

flushed up the box tray
got tear out on both ends
sanding got most of the test out
There is still a little patch of the tear left. I tried to scrape it out and that wasn't working too well. This is a narrow piece and I was having problems flexing the scraper so it would take a bite. I hand sanded 90 % of out and I'll get the remaining 10% tomorrow.

sanded a slip fit in the tray
There is enough wiggle room for the tray to fit inside the box. When I let it go it slowly sunk down.

cardboard liners
I am going to cut the cardboard to fit the bottom of the tray and box. Once I find my blue velvet cloth, I'll glue that to the cardboard and insert them into their respective spots.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Commodore Perry signed the Treaty of Kanagawa which opened up Japan to western trade?

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