Handworks 2017

May 14, 2017 2 comments

I discovered this post in my drafts, obviously it is a year old but brought a smile to my face as I remembered a great time so I shared it despite the poor timing.

Low clouds drift across the sky, a single drop of rain strikes the windshield, followed by an ever increasing number. Reaching out, I adjust the volume of Snap Judgement as the drops become a downpour. A couple of hours later I find myself slowing in Amana, IA. The rain, now a steady drizzle, could not dampen the spirit of people huddled under umbrellas waiting to enter the barn for Roy Underhill’s presentation. Walking towards the crowd, Norway John and I exchange a handshake, a smile and enter the barn.

Knowing what to expect at Handworks greatly improved my experience,  As pointed out by Shannon Rogers on Woodtalk, Handworks can be crowded, however people are polite and will easily step aside if you want a closer look.

Handworks ebbs and flows and with a little knowledge you can get the most out of it. My plan was to enjoy the people and later in the day focus on the the specific, tools and vendors that have drawn my interest. The initial push into Festhalle for Roy Underhill’s talk and the giveaways, attracts the majority of people, so once finished I walked to the outermost buildings and worked back to the barn. By mid afternoon the crowd will thin and although tired, vendors will be relaxed and less busy.

img_2323Walking between buildings I quickly spotted Ben and the new guy from FineWoodworking Magazine. Handing them an OrePass Sticker and thanking them for ShopTalk Live, they passed me a shirt! More importantly I got a chance to talk and enjoyed a few thoughts and the advice from New Guy to try a Japanese Plane as a little relief from Hip Pain.  I’m really glad to see them here enjoying the many vendors and companionship of their audience.

Next stop was Texas Heritage Woodworks to say hello to Sara and Jason. Two of the nicest people I know and a great companion on Instagram. Their Tool Rolls and the new Saddle Bag was very tempting! Further along I stopped by Plate 11 workbench Co. Their work benches could be found throughout Handworks, these give me an opportunity to compare heights, components and styles. I did learn a trick with the Moxon Vise. Springs inserted between the jaws make quite a difference.

Lunch at Handworks has always baffled me, seems that there would be lots of options; yet again I suffered through a mediocre sandwich however I met Kent. Really enjoyed getting to know him over a few bites.

I spent a few minutes talking with the Guys from Mortise and Tenon Magazine, had some good laughs and a photograph taken by the owner of Dubuque Clamp works.

Spending time with Mark Harrell from Bad Axe Tools was entertaining and educational as always and his son made a valiant effort to sell me a new D8 saw.  Before leaving time was spent with Walke Moore Tools looking at their new Router Plane. It was fun to see and make comparison to the original Preston Plane.

Overall it was a fun day and I look forward to the Next Event.

Categories: Handworks, Uncategorized

Saw Bench

May 14, 2017 Leave a comment

Several years ago I built a small saw bench. It’s worked well with a few minor issues along the way. Looking at the added screws and structural repairs I began building a new bench several months ago. It’s been a busy summer and it’s progresses very slowly.

The new design was selected back in May and in the next couple of weeks it will be complete. The two goals for the new bench was integrity and refreshing skills.

The design has allowed me to practice dovetail and mortise/tenon joints. The one complaint I have is my choice of lumber. Using several old boards of SPF was cheap but it certainly isn’t as enjoyable as hardwoods of white pine. However it’s a tool for the shop and all good practice.

Categories: Saw Bench

Coming back

May 7, 2017 12 comments

As you already know my posts over the last few months have been non existent. Those of you who follow orepass on instagram already know that I had surgery on my hip at the end of the year. The recovery has gone well. In fact I began running again this week, although one minute at a time. Woodworking has taken longer and the little bit of aggravation created in my hip when sharpening and planing has faded.

The tools have sat long enough and I have been cleaning, sharpening and thinking. After six months a simple project that encompasses several joints will bring me back. Looking through magazines and blogs and finding my saw bench buried under a pile of boxes, bags and family ‘items’ a new saw bench is in order. From all the items piled on and around my bench it appears that others may have been moving into the shop area!
A bench that has caught my eye several times is the split saw bench, several people have blogged with their own version and I’ve had trouble identifying the original designer, although many people point to Billy’s Little Bench. It’s important to give credit where it’s due, but in this case I can only point you to the web. Look up split top saw bench and tell me which ones you prefer.

My original saw bench was built many years ago as a a project from Shannon Rogers’ Hand Tool School. It has served its time well but certainly is showing its age and a couple of repairs have failed to keep it rigid. The split bench should be more rigid and I like the concept of being able to saw boards down the center. Additionally, the dovetails and  mortise and tenon joints will help tune skills that have been resting.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you and thanks for all the support over the last few months.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tool Cabinet Supports

January 4, 2017 12 comments

Moving the cabinet around to install hinges, shelf supports and doors has become quite a challenge. There isn’t a scale nearby, but even before tools are placed inside it’s quite hefty. Fortunately there are supports to be built that will fit underneath.

 

The supports consits of a pair of dovetailed boards with a brace. The dovetail is unique and was fun to make. I admit that I did have some trouble getting the angles correct on the brace and the fit is not as snug as I would like, but there are plenty of lessons in mistakes.Unfortuantely I only have the three photographs that I took while making the parts.

Categories: Hanging Tool Cabinet

Tool Cabinet Shelves

December 28, 2016 2 comments

One would think that with the cabinet almost complete a plan would exist for the shelves. I’m not quite there yet and it seems that until the cabinet has been used for a period of time there may be several iterations. Certainly there needs to be a couple of shelves and at least one for hand planes. Then there is the issue with the saws? Where will they go?

Categories: Hanging Tool Cabinet

Cabinet Shelf Supports

December 24, 2016 4 comments

One of the things that I find most fascinating about being a woodworker is the many differing techniques for accomplishing a task. As usual this Cabinet has a method for installing adjustable table shelves that I have not come across.


It consists of four saw toothed supports. You could make the supports from a couple of boards and then rip them to the correct width. I had parts from an old cabinet so I cut each support to the correct height and width than bolted pairs together. This allowed me to lay out saw and chop the saw tooth and end up with an exact pair. Once laid out it was a surprisingly quick process. I then drilled holes for the screws and attached them to the cabinet sides. I did have to remove the handle from my drill to get the hole placed correctly. The next job is to make the crosspieces which hold the shelves. You can see the one in the picture needed a little more care in measurement but it was a quick job and the adjustment works great.


Until I came across Paul Seller’s hanging Tool Cabinet I had not seen his method for installing adjustable shelves. If you have different methods that are unique for shelf installation let me know.

Categories: Hanging Tool Cabinet

Tool Cabinet Hinges

December 20, 2016 5 comments

Purchasing Hinges is something I put off until the last minute. I want to purchase them locally so I can feel their heft and think about how they will fit into my project. Typically I end up on line after being very dissatisfied with what available. The tool Cabinet deserved some quality Brusso Hinges. They are more expensive than the local stores but I appreciate the quality. I’ve chosen stainless steel Hinges for the cabinet, the contrast to the cherry catches my eye.


Installing hinges is one of the tasks that gives you instant feedback if you do it poorly. Carefully chiseling, than routing out the waste I make mortises for each hinge.


Focusing on one door I carefully install the hinges and make adjustments to center the door. Once both doors are in I carefully plane the center rail until the doors close without binding. The door on the right is carefully chamfered so the two will pass each other. Anyone else have some good hinge sources?

Categories: Hanging Tool Cabinet