I thought it would a good idea to have a chapter dedicated to detailing some of the tools and tips used in this series.
This will be an open chapter,adding to it as I can.
The most important item in the shop is of course,the Moaning Chair.These have been an important part of boatbuilding since the beginning.First there was the Moaning Rock,and then came the Moaning Stump and when wolves were present, safety could be reached by scurrying up the nearest tree to the Moaning Limb.Actually,any place to sit and cry over a recent blunder could be given a title of “Moaning ”
I have a Moaning Stool.I paid three dollars at a yard sale and with the help of Krylon,we gave it new life.
If you find yourself making frequent mistakes,then you might consider something a little more comfortable,such as a Moaning Lazyboy or a Moaning Sofa.
I try to downplay its heavy use in my shop by throwing a handful of sawdust on the seat when I get a visitor.
Moaning with dignity.
Its also important to keep your moaning down to a low level.Dogs have very sensitive hearing and will start howling out of sympathy.And,if you live in the city,keep in mind that some car alarms go off with very little provocation.I have learned over the years that wailing,or keening, will bring my wife out to the shop with her finger poised over the phone,ready to speed dial 911.By maintaining a low moan, I can convince her that its just a bearing going out in the router.
This is how I use my Moaning Stool.Feel free to select something that suits your personality and budget.And dont worry about posture,it will come naturally.Mine has been perfected by many projects.
After mounting my Porter Cable router in a Jessem/Jet lift,I found a problem.The wrenches were not shaped for that application.The collet is below deck level,which means the wrenches are at a steep angle.They would barely grab the collet and I was never confident in how tight I was getting it.This did not instill confidence as that large rabbet bit was cutting away.
So,I did something about it.I threw the wrenches in the woodstove,onto the coals,and let them get a nice cherry red.Then I placed them in a vice and hammered them into a Z shape.(Actually one is a Z shape and the other is more of a sweep.) It took a couple of reheatings to work them into shape.When they were bent to the right shape,I reheated them and while red hot I quenched them in oil.After several years of constant use they still work perfectly.
A few thoughts: If you need bent wrenches,you may be able to buy them for your model.
If you want to try bending your own,just be sure they are not cast steel.It is not malleable.
This is not a tutorial on forging steel.My skills in this area are pretty limited.I have made a knife and a scoop and a few other things but dont feel qualified to instruct anyone.There is a lot of info,including videos on the web that cover this subject very well.
Be careful you dont start a fire when quenching.Do this outdoors and have something to cover the oil container with in case it ignites.
When routing the lip you will notice that the bit cuts a little deeper in the corners than it does on the straght sections.I dont know for sure why it does this,but I think its because it is cutting more wood all of a sudden that it pulls the bit in just a little.Thats hard to believe since I am using the largest router that PC makes,it is firmly mounted in a table and the bit has a 1/2’’ shaft.There should not be any flexxing.But,I always get this arc that is deeper by about the thickness of 2 sheets of paper.
The problem of course,is that when you fit the lid,you wind up with a gap at the corners.
You cant really cut the lid to fit that shape,so you need to sand the straight sections just a little to minimize the gap.BUT,you need to stay out of the corners,we dont want them sanded any deeper.
How I do this:
Do this prior to cutting the top to size.
I made up a simple sanding block that has corners that roughly match those on the box.Put a piece of tape or two on each end to act as bumpers so you dont ding up the opposing ends as you complete each stroke.
I use PSA paper and attach it only to the edges,so as not to sand the bottom of the lip.Cut the paper back from the corner too,so that you are only sanding the straight sections.Take slow deliberate strokes.Check your progress often using a straight edge.If you have burns in the corners,clean them up first.
I make these specialized sanding blocks whenever I need to sand one surface while riding against another that must remain untouched.I am sure you will find uses for this in your projects.
-- If I can do it, so can you.