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Box Making halted by a 4mm Screw!

July 21, 2021 Leave a comment

Warm water splashed my face as the river’s rumble passed into the darkness, it is warm, very warm. With a jerk I find myself awake, a thunderstorm rumbling overhead and Scout licking my face looking for comfort.

Admittedly it has been a long time since I jumped headlong into a project. The shop is all but complete and my excuses no longer hold sway. Grabbing a piece of cherry left over from another project I began sizing it up for a couple of boxes I noticed in Mike Pekovich’s book ‘The Why and How of Woodworking’ not sure I’ll make the exact box, but its a simple way to get back into the swing of woodworking.

Bad Axe Tool Works D8 Cross Cut Saw

The cherry board that I have on hand is 5/4 and I need to get it down to approximately 1/2”. It’ll work great because approximately half the board is the pith. I used my Bad Axe Tool Works D8 saw to break the board down and there was a big smile on my face the entire time. The saw was singing and dust dropped quickly onto I the floor. There is something very satisfying about cutting cherry with a hand saw. If you’ve never used a Bad Axe Saw try one, the filing is magnificent. Even if you don’t get the chance visit the web site its full of great information about saws, saw sharpening etc.

Grabbing the Sargent 409 I flattened one side of each board in preparation for running it through the planer. My jointer sits in its box by the door and I can’t recall the last time I sued it. Just seems quicker to use a hand plane and a lot more pleasant! Turning to my planer I check the bed to make sure I eliminate as much snipe as possible and notice that one corner is sagging. A quick peak and the problem becomes clear a small screw 6mm to be exact is missing and there is no doubt that if it’s in my shop I long since swept it up! Stumped for the lack of a tiny screw!

Categories: Cherry Box

Humidity in the shop

July 17, 2021 Leave a comment

A couple of weeks ago I noticed on my weatherstation that the humidty outside was 97%, definately on the high side of comfortable and certainly high enough to begin having an effect on everyday life. I am very fortunate to have a shop that is climate controlled and living in TX it gives me the ability to woodwork comfortably year round. Most of my shop furniture however was built much further North often in cold dry winters. I’m see the impact of the lower humidity and have made several adjustments.

My tool cabinet which has hung on the wall for many years needed extensive changes to the doors to enable them to close. Seems like I just did work on it but a couple weeks of high humidity and the plane had to come out and make some changes. Next it was of to the drawers on my small tool chest. I had not been able to close the lower drawer for a couple of weeks so I planed the top of the drawer and got it closed.

The last piece was the movable portion of the tail vise. Although I could use it it was very tight and I actually had to drive it out with a rubber hammer. a few swipes of the plane and all is good.

Categories: Uncategorized

New Sharpening Jig

July 14, 2021 6 comments

It didn’t take long to realize that I needed to replace the old jig, a couple of crooked chisels and I opened the IPad and began to peruse the usual spots for tools. Deciding against a like for like replacement, I looked at the Veritas Jigs, after all my friend John at WoodworksbyJohn uses a Veritas MK II sharpening jig.

Several years ago I had the Veritas Honing guide, it worked ok and came with he angle setting jig shown below. I did however have one frustration and it may be just me but The chisel or plane blade frequently shifted. Unlike the Eclipse style jig this one does not have anything to rest the side of the tool against to ensure it sits perpendicular to the stone. I still use it for angled blades etc, but this minor frustration was what led me to the eclipse jig in the first place. THe newer Veritas MK II jig may have resolved this problem and John noted it was the one he used however I couldn’t quite tell if it had fully eliminated this problem.

There are a couple more jigs out there and I looked at the one made by Woodpeckers, It was a one time tool and no longer in production but looked like a possibility. I have never owned a Woodpeckers Tool but perhaps one day. Finally I looked at the product produced by Lie Nielsen and after a little research decided that this is the investment I would make. I liked the Eclipse Style guide and it functioned well and the Lie-Nielsen Honing Guide is similar although pricier and appears to be better made.

After a week and sharpening chisels and planes it works really well and apart from being expensive I like it a lot. I certainly could have gone the cheaper route and purchased another Eclipse style knock off, but so far I’m very satisfied. I for those of you saying just sharpen Jigless, I hear you but sometime I’m not going to listen!

Sharpening Angle Settting Jig

July 7, 2021 Leave a comment

It always amazes me how long I can put off making a simple jig that can make things so much easier. The Angle setting jig that I made this week is the perfect example. If you use any of the Eclipse, Veritas, or Lie Nielsen jigs for sharpening you know that the repeatability of the sharpening angle is critical to the speed of sharpening let alone the performance of the plane or chisel. Many companies provide an angle setting jig with the sharpening jig. There are other systems that people use and it appears the simplest is to set the distance from the end of the blade to the edge of the jig

These distances don’t change as long as you are sharpening similar blades in the same jig and in this case the perfect angle is not as important as the consistency of the angle. Again THE SAME SHARPENING JIG. Notice the difference In length between the Veritas and the Lie Nielsen.

The jig I made this week is a basic copy of one built by Denab Puchalski of Lie Nielsen. I found scraps in the bins cut them to size and after a few measurements glued and screwed each to the board. Most went well, one I had to plane to make it exactly parallel to the board edge. Once finished I drilled a hole so I could hang the jig on a wall. This has made sharpening easier and more consistent and that’s always a good thing.

Categories: Techniques

Sargent 409: A brief look

June 30, 2021 Leave a comment

The Sargent plane admired for many years and mentioned in the post A Sargent in the House, is resting comfortably in a cardboard box by my side. Buying tools on EBay often seems to be risky, but generally I have had a great experience. Purchasing this plane was no exception and it arrived well packed and exactly as described.

Sargent 409

The plane has been cared for, cleaned and appears to be sharpened. It also appears that the sole has been flattened. Learning about the Sargent bench planes has been enjoyable and there are some great websites providing lots of information. Time Tested Tools is one of these sites.

There are certainly fewer Sargent planes in people’s tool boxes and the majority of mine are Stanleys. However I’m rather fond of this plane and find myself reaching for it over its Stanley cousin.

There are a few subtle differences and one major one that I discovered. Let’s take a closer look. If you are new to Stanley and Sargent Planes people typically make comparisons to the Stanley numbering system, the Stanley #4 and Sargent #409 and equivalent. The great thing about the Sargent system is that the 9 in the 409 is the length of the bed.

Taking the blades out of the planes The Sargent weighs 2lb 13.21oz, 2 lb 13.7 oz. not a large difference. With blades in there is a greater difference. I’ve a Veritas blade in the Stanley3 lb 12.7 ozone jand original in the Sargent 3lb 10ozSo if it’s not weight that drives preference what is it?

The front knobs are different . The Stanley having a higher profile and slightly narrower.

The totes are also different with the Sargent taller and at a slightly different angle although not significant.

All seem like subtle differences. The one change that takes a little getting used to is the adjustment of depth. The Stanley gets deep with a clockwise motion, while the Sargent is counter clockwise! Yes it has caught me once!

Sargent adjustment is opposite the Stanley

Overall there is nothing obvious that drives me to prefer one over the other, it’s just an observation that I tend to reach for the Sargent first.

Roubo Gap Stop Revisit

June 25, 2021 2 comments

Last week I posted about my Roubo gap stop. This was actually written last November and I failed to post it. This week I revisited the gap stop and made a few changes. Below is a picture of the puppy you saw in the post 40lbs heavier.

The gap stop was functional but with a very humid spring it needed some adjustment. After looking at it carefully I decided that it really needed to be reworked. First step was to correct the gap between the two bench tops.

I unbolted the sections and using a #7 Plane worked them down to the correct width. Next I found a couple of new boards and dimensioned them carefully, removing all of the twist and getting them to the correct width. The new boards along with a couple of extra blocks were glued together and when dry they only needed minor modification to fit into the slot. The rebuild of the gap stop took approximately half the time that I spent trying to fit and adjust the improperly made first stop.

Categories: Roubo

Roubo Crubber and Weldwood

June 20, 2021 Leave a comment

Several months ago I installed the Crubber on my benchcrafted Vise. Carefully taping off the area I sprayed it with adhesive and stuck it in place. Two days later I peeled it off and started again! After a little research I realized that I need something stronger than contact adhesive and browsing my local Home Depot came across Weld Wood Contact Cement. Truth be know I was not looking for contact cement rather a paint brush and this little can was out of place and caught my eye.

Clearly a message from above and I purchased it and used it to reapply the Crubber.

After a few weeks it’s still there and working well. IF it fails I’ll let everyone know…..

Categories: Uncategorized

Gap Stops, and Puppies

June 9, 2021 Leave a comment

The day started early with what appeared to be a simple glue up with minor adjustments. Let no one think that the simplest of pieces take the least amount of time. The Roubo bench has many features that make it the most critical tool in a Hand Tool woodworkers shop. In the version I am building one of the features is the split top and subsequent gap stop. It’s another work holding device that I hope will become a useful tool.

Split Top Roubo Bench

Making the gap stop consists of gluing spacers between two pieces of lumber and fitting it into the gap. Nothing simpler, a great start to the day! It’s now one day later and it just fits, needs more adjustment and on top of that I’ve got a nice dent in the wall to repair….let me explain! Oh and I’ve not told anyone about the dent so let’s keep it quiet.

The Gap Stop consists of two boards, the length of the bench, approximately 1.5 inches wide. Spacers are used to glue the boards together providing a stop mid bench that can be used for planing against. The spacers also provide an area where tools can be placed so they don’t roll off the bench.

I cut the two outer boards and all of the spacers that would be needed. The two outer boards twisted magnificently and required a lot of work to get them close to flat. Then I checked my measurements and realized it was a little wider then I intended. Not to worry I planned to run it through through my planer. Next I check the actual gap between the two parts of the bench and realized that they were also a little wider then planned. So being In a hurry I clamped the boards to the table to prevent twist and glued everything up. Next morning I had a slightly twisted gap stop that wouldn’t fit in the gap. So I ran the gap stop through the planer. It only took two passes to begin showing a very strange variation in thickness.

Standing and staring at the stop for a minute I realized that the stop was flexing in the planer under the pressure from the guide rollers. I set them on the bench and hand planed them to fit.

A couple of thoughts that may help someone in the future. Make sure your boards have no twist, add a couple of additional spacers. Secure your work piece before planing, Be familiar with your tools and how they operate. Don’t assume the small stuff is easy! Enjoy the puppy picture!

Categories: Roubo

Sharpening Jig failure

June 6, 2021 4 comments

I sharpen planes and chisels both free hand and with a jig. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why I choose one method over the other , it just happens. Last week when I had 4 planes to sharpen I used a jig. They were in poor shape and I knew they would need extra effort.

The first three were sharpened with an Eclipse style jig. They are inexpensive and work well. I failed to notice that the wheel in the jig was not turning and managed to flatten it.

The final plane was sharpened by hand……..I imagine this is a very low cost part, but impossible to get. May have to reconsider my sharpening methods.

Plane Aid – Flattening and Sharpening

May 31, 2021 Leave a comment

Finished up the four planes this morning after using the 5th for parts. I hope that everyone is satisied with the results. The two Stanleys turned out to be a little more difficult than normal due to the blades not being particularly flat. I’ve never had that problem before but spent more time sharpening then has been typical. I also took the time to print out a couple of links that will hopefully help in the future showing the sharpening tools that I use etc.

After taking the #4 apart and repairing the front knob I disassembled and got all of the rust and gunk off the plane. Flattening the sole wasn’t a problem and I made sure that all of the bolts and frog were clean and fiunctioned correctly. The problem sarted with the blade which did not clean up easily and took quite a bit of elbow grease along with some 800 grit sand paper and wd-40. Once clean I sharpened it and noticed that the back was nowhere near flat. This may be why the ownwer had problems sharpening. Eventually I put it on a 400 grit stone and worked it flat. I’ve had blades that were concave in the middle but this had a side that put up a fight. I sued my basic sharpening system, diamond stones strop sand an eclipse style guide. Next I had to spend a little time with the cap iron making sure its leading edge fit snugly to the blade. All in all it is a nice plane and should be a great add to the tool chest.

The block plane is a craftsman with aluminum cap. I tidied it up flattened the sole and sharpened the blade. This took very little time and will make a great little plane. The small plane also took only a little work after getting the rust off. This was another plane where the high grit paper and wd-40 came in handy. Sometimes these tools have all kinds of spill on them and using a degreaser makes the difference

The final plane I worked on, fought me all the way and I think that it could still use a little polishing. There were two #5 planes in the box and after some thought I decided to use the newer plane for parts. I like the older style frogs. The handle from the plane was broken and although not too difficult to fix I did not have an old broken handle to source the rosewood from and felt that maple would be a poor choice. Thus I used the handle from the newer plane. The only downside being the use of a non brass screw to attach it. I placed all of the parts in a plastic bag so that the owner would have them for later repairs. The sole and blade needed quite a bit of work. Once cleaned and flat everything was sharpened and lubed. I also put quite a bit of wax on the sole and took it for a test run. Hopefully the owner is happy with the result.