New Shop – First Look

September 1, 2020 Leave a comment

September arrived and with it a new chapter in my woodworking journey. As boxes began to disappear and in their place a collection of objects began to occupy rooms , I snuck a peak into the garage. Piled up in front of me below boxes and stacks of lumber lay my work bench, tools and cabinets. It wasn’t long before they were assembled and after some shifting placed where hopefully they will remain. Shuffling through the packing material I located tools and screws to hang my wall cabinet and saw till. The tool chest was placed on a floor cabinet and the anarchists tool chest rolled close at hand.

If you only look at this half of the shop it is beginning to take on the appearance of order but the hidden half of the space still needs much work. Hopefully with a weekend ahead I can find homes for the needed tools and sell what I don’t need.

Categories: Uncategorized

Shop Update

June 21, 2020 Leave a comment

By now many of you realize that my woodworking has been non existent. After packing up my tools a year ago, I have yet to unpack or see them. All is not lost and hopefully in a couple of months we will meet again. At this point I hope the care I took to prevent rust is working, since I only planned to be out of the shop for a few months.

Many things have changed since the tools were packed and the search for a new home began. Finding a house lasted much longer then expected, eventually leading to building a new home. The advantage is a chance to customize a workspace and the disadvantage is time. Moving the third stall of the garage to the outside I was able to add a 6×12 addition with a window adding natural light and more space I also added a 220v circuit, additional lighting, and of course a multi-split ac unit!

Perhaps in a couple of months the tools will be back in their rightful place.

Categories: Uncategorized

A Sargent in the House!

February 16, 2020 2 comments

Admittedly, the things that bring me the most joy are simple; a smile and a wink from my wife, an excited dog when walking in the door and a fun text from the kids. My favorite food is a cheeseburger, preferably with bread and butter pickles and I prefer hand tools for woodworking.

Looking in my tool chest the majority of bench planes are Stanleys. Like most of you there are a couple of specialty planes from modern manufacturers, but if you look through my blog the constant companion is a Stanley. All that said, could I be tempted by other manufacturers?

Several years ago while wandering around a

the Sargent plane above caught my eye. There were plenty of Stanleys, Miller Falls and other manufacturers, but this was the one that stood out. It seemed to be slightly heavier than the equivalent Stanley and the sides thicker. The price seemed high and the “don’t want to discuss price” attitude of the owner made me walk away empty handed. Since then I have kept my eye out for a Sargent Plane and stumbled across one on Ebay the other day. Admittedly I do not need another bench plane! But like a good cheeseburger sometimes you have to indulge yourself!

Meet Sargent VBM 409, a new addition, welcome to the family!

More pictures to come.

As for the cheeseburgers; I allow myself one a month so no need to worry about over indulgence.

Categories: Tools

Stanleys in disguise

February 12, 2020 Leave a comment

Look around flea markets, antique stores and ebay for hand tools and there has been a definite change over the last 15 years. The law of supply and demand has shown its mettle and the Stanley’s and Sargents that were abundant at ridiculously low prices are harder to find. Although still a deal at current prices, if you are just stepping into the hand tool world there are other options at lower prices.

Admittedly I am partial to the Stanley planes in my tool chest and there will soon be a Sargent joining the group, however my first plane came from Sears. Putting aside thoughts of owning the most common planes it’s worth considering the many other brands that most people walk past. Take a look around the internet and learn who manufactured these planes. Sears was manufactured by Stanley and Sargent, Wards Master is a Stanley with a different name so how much is a name worth? Starting out in woodworking? Take a look and you will find some excellent planes and great prices with some lesser known names.

Categories: Uncategorized

Woodworking Withdrawl

February 8, 2020 3 comments

Note to self; when moving and storing woodworking tools for an extended period of time keep a few nearby to sharpen, hold in your hand and polish.

It’s been several weeks since the tools were packed away. They are now in storage and may be there for several months. I’ve read many blogs, articles and comments that reflect on the curious need to touch and look at your tools. Clearly I have a touch of tool..itis, wood..itis and design..itis and I have no idea how to pass the time until the tools are again in their rightful place. Some of the more obvious symptoms:

Sharpening – A desire to sharpen tools. This is a very strangle affliction, sharpening is a necessity not a desire.

All Fine Woodworking Articles look like excellent projects – Any magazine must appeal to a wide audience and Fine Woodworking is no exception. Typically I look through and one article grabs my eye, currently I want to build every project.

Lee Valley Website – Admittedly Lee Valley is a favorite source of tools, however I don’t typically scroll through it endlessly looking at the tools I already own.

The infamous unfinished bed – I’m considering finishing the bed I made 20+ years ago. Why now?

Categories: other

More Pastries than Tools!

February 2, 2020 Leave a comment

Arriving in a new part of the country provides different experiences and opportunities. Exploring the San Antonio, TX area there is a natural pull towards stores which may have tool treasures tucked away. The postings made a few weeks ago were from a few stores near Boerne, TX. This weekend I sought opportunities in flea markets across the area, and what did I find?

Some great looking apricot Danish pastries or if you prefer a few donuts or cinnamon rolls. After visiting three flea markets, I found one vendor with three planes. One, so rusty that there was no way to make a positive identification and two others that were not for sale because they had been cleaned!

Maybe I take a gander at Ebay…….

Categories: Uncategorized

Real – Tool Tote

January 14, 2020 2 comments

In the last post I intended to include a tool tote that was also in the antique store. Several things caught my eye; The sides of the tote are much thinner than the ends 3/8″ vs 1″. Clearly this was done to save weight. The Tote was designed to handle full length panel saws and I can imagine that fully loaded it was quite heavy. Next time I go into an antique store I will bring a tape measure, looking at the pictures I have many questions myself.



Categories: Uncategorized

Old Tool Chest and Layout Tools

January 10, 2020 Leave a comment

Looking through the photographs I took while wandering through antique shops and wanted to share an interesting tool chest that I came across.


Certainly someone can do a decent job of dating the chest. It wasn’t the chest that made me take a second look, but the layout tools that were carefully stored under the lid


Neatly stowed in the lid is a square, 45 degree (best guess), compass, metal triangle (square) and somethiing missing. Certainly the craftsman that used this tool box had a specific task that required these tools. Anyone have a thought?


A couple of other benches were in the store, enjoy the photos.


Categories: Tool Chest

Bench Dog Design

January 5, 2020 5 comments

Wandered through an antique shop today and noticed several benches and tool chests. Typically I prefer junk stores since their pricing is reasonable and people understand what you are looking for and how it’s used. During my wanderings there were several benches, but the dogs on this bench caufgt my eye.


Perhaps I should have looked at the price of the bench, but by the time I was in this part of the store sticker shock had worn off and I was in cruise mode. It’s a very nice bench with decent proportions and a couple of nice vises that worked well. I imagine this will ultimately end up in a kitchen somewhere.

The bench dogs were quite large and moved smoothly up and down. They were held in place by a thin piece of wire.

They did not appear to hve been used often but I can imagine the wire would eventually create a groove in the bench top. Don’t think I will change the design on my bench but always fun to look at options.

Categories: Roubo

Shop Design

December 31, 2019 Leave a comment

Earlier this month I posted some thoughts on a new shop. Currently I do not have a final solution, but continue to lean towards a divided three car garage. It seems like the most economical solution and after discussions with a real estate agent would not affect resale of the property.

One of the great tools available for analyzing shop space is provided by Grizzly. At this point a disclaimer; I don’t own any Grizzly tools and I don’t personally know anyone that does. They do appear to be popular and I’ve seen very few negative reviews and would consider them in the future for upgrades to my exisitng tools.  Take a few minutes and lay out your shop using the Grizzly Tools Shop Planner.


Using the planner I laid out a single car garage (11′ x 22′) with an annex (6′ x 13′.) the diagram above is the output from the planner. Ceratinly there are tools included that I don’t own, but it does give a great idea about how the space would work including the essential shop dog.



Categories: Texas Shop