§ by Randy Maxey on October 31st, 2006
Whether you’re a traditional woodworker who works mostly with hand tools or one who uses mostly power tools, every shop should have a good hand saw. The question is, which style is best? Western saws are made with thicker steel and are designed to cut on the push stroke. Japanese-style saws are much thinner and are designed to cut on the pull stroke.
Here’s a long-running thread on WoodNet that debates the issue and points out the benefits of each.
§ by Randy Maxey on October 30th, 2006
Being a native Buckeye and having an interest in old tools, I’ve recently gotten curious about the history of the Ohio Tool Company. While nosing around on the ‘net trying to learn more, I ran across this article in Farmland News about Jack Devitt who maintains a collection of tools made in Ohio — especially planes.
The article doesn’t have a dateline, so I’m not sure how old it is. It mentions a book that Jack wrote called Ohio Toolmakers and Their Tools. I contacted the newspaper and a few days later got an email from Mr. Devitt. Here’s what he says:
To receive a copy of Ohio Toolmakers and Their Tools, send $30.00 which includes postage and handling to Jack Devitt, P.O. Box 116, Ottoville, OH 45876 with your name and address. Also indicate if you want the book signed and if you want it signed to a specific person. We’ll get it in the mail the same day usually.
§ by Joel Hess on October 27th, 2006
It didn’t take long today to finish up my project. Once the glue was dry on the lid, I used a pin vise to mark the location for drilling. The hinge system for this box couldn’t be simpler. It’s just a short piece of brass rod.
I used the existing holes to mark the location. Then I just held the lid in place and used the holes to guide the bit. Over at the drill press I decided to use a screw clamp Read the rest of this article »
§ by Joel Hess on October 26th, 2006
Now that I’m back in the shop for at least one hour per day, I’m starting to get some things done. An hour is just enough time to get small projects completed. I haven’t started building anything new yet, but I did take the opportunity to make a repair to a jewelry box that I made for my wife a couple of years ago. The box is based on a plan in Woodsmith No. 107. They called it an Accessory Box.
Not long after I gave it to her, one of our cats knocked the box onto the floor. The lid was open and it snapped the lid hinge in two. It’s been sitting on the dresser — broken, but usuable — for at least two years. Read the rest of this article »
§ by Joel Hess on October 24th, 2006
I’ve got to get back in the shop! After spending most of the summer working in the yard or on the house and very little time in my woodshop, now that the weather is starting to turn cooler, I want to finish up some projects. Unfortunately, I find it hard to make it down to the shop in the evenings. Especially during the World Series!
Last weekend, I told my wife I was going to start spending at least one hour per day in my shop. I may not get too much done, but at least I’m going to make the effort. So here goes. Read the rest of this article »
§ by Randy Maxey on October 24th, 2006
A few years back, I purchased an old Stanley 71 router plane that was made between 1906 and 1908. It didn’t come with any cutters or knobs. Fortunately, the screws were still intact. Since Stanley used an oddball thread size on most of their planes, it would have been difficult to find replacement screws.
One evening after dinner, I moseyed out to the shop with no particular project in mind. I saw this plane sitting on the shelf. I remembered I had a turning blank of bubinga I had purchased last winter. It had been a while since I had used my lathe, and I knew this would be a nice evening project.
So, I asked the Galoots up on the OldTools list about the dimensions of the original knobs on the Stanley 71 and got several responses. It occurred to me that I had a box of old plane parts sitting way up on a shelf, so I got it down and starting nosing around. I found an old knob that matched the dimensions I was given. Now I had something I could visually match and put some calipers on to get real dimensions.
It took me a little figuring before I found a reliable way to chuck the bubinga blank in my lathe. Once I figured it out, it went pretty quick. Let me just say right here that turning bubinga is a pleasure. No tearout and it finishes really nice.
It’s always the first knob that’s the easiest. It’s trying to get the second one to match that’s the trick. I must have fussed around with it for a half hour trying to get it to match the first one. A little rounding here. A little shave there. I finally said, “Close enough!” and called it quits. I sanded the knobs through 400-grit on the lathe. Then while still on the lathe, I applied some boiled linseed oil and paste wax. I was pretty happy with how they looked. And you have to get real close to see that they aren’t an exact match.
Now all I’ve got to do is get some irons for it. I’m told that the ones from Lee Valley/Veritas will work. I guess I need to place an order. They know me by first name by now.
§ by Joel Hess on October 23rd, 2006
I recently received the following email notice from the Minnesota Woodworkers Guild. It illustrates the problems with buying online.
In the Nov/Dec Guild Newsletter there is an ad offering 400,000 bf of lumber. The advertisement leads with the line “Lake Elmo Lumber closes doors.” Sadly, it is true that Lake Elmo Hardwood Lumber has closed.
They have however informed us that they have nothing to do with this offer. Please don’t call them! It has also been brought to our attention that the offer maybe too good to be true. Be prudent, do not pay in advance. If advanced payment is required, arrange to use PayPal or some other 3rd party. Hopefully the offer is good.
Apparently, if you were interested in buying lumber from the person running this scam, the first requirement was that you pay money down before delivery. Predictably, the material is never delivered. I’m told several local businesses and some individuals did lose some money and the police are investigating the scam.
As the email notice states, if the offer sounds to good to be true, it probably is! Just be careful out there.
§ by Randy Maxey on October 20th, 2006
Next Thursday at The Woodsmith Store, I’ll be giving a seminar titled:
Why You Need Hand Planes in Your Shop
Even if you have a shop full of power tools, I’ll show you how hand planes can add a level of craftsmanship to your projects you never thought possible. We’ll look at how to level an uneven joint, get perfectly flush edge-banding on plywood, smooth a glued-up panel, and much more.
Join us for an information-packed and fun evening!
Sponsored in part by:
§ by Randy Maxey on October 20th, 2006
This thread on WoodNet hints about some upcoming hand planes from Lee Valley/Veritas. Rob Lee talks a little about what they’re working on and considering for production.
One thing Rob says they’re working on is a “high end” line of planes. Seems like there’s already a lot of competition in the high end with Lie-Nielsen, Clifton, and others. And I hear rumors that Anant will be coming out with a line of “Premier” hand planes. It’ll be really interesting to see what Veritas can come up with that beats their already excellent line of modestly-priced planes.
And they’re working on their version of the side rabbet planes like the old Stanley 98/99. They’re also looking at a plow plane reminiscent of the Stanley 289.
Whatever new planes the engineers and designers come up with, I’m sure they’ll be top notch. I can’t wait to get my hands on them.
§ by Randy Maxey on October 18th, 2006
You’re going to love what’s coming up in the next issue of ShopNotes magazine.
You can click on the images here to enlarge them.
First, there’s this handy roll-around Work Cart. But it’s not your ordinary shop cart. This one is designed to stand up to your most demanding shop tasks. And there’s plenty of storage to boot.
This 3-in-1 Multi-Tool will turn a palm router into a mortiser, edge jointer, and router table.
Finally, this shop-made Layout Tool is sure to find a home in your apron pocket. What’s great is you can build it in a weekend.
Plus, we’ll give your significant other 20 ideas for stocking stuffers for Christmas — all for under $50.
And there’s much, much more in the next issue of ShopNotes magazine, available on newsstands now.