Well guys today was the final day of our hand tools class. I must say this is the day I like the least when I take classes because that means I must leave new friends and head back to the real world.
Before I get into today’s class though I wanted to make sure that I tell you all that if you ever want to go to a good school with good people, Kelly Mehler’s is the place to go. That’s not saying other schools are not good, but I throughly enjoyed the atmosphere, the people, the food and, of course, the class. I plan to make this a woodworking destination in the future—- so maybe I’ll meet you there!
One question from yesterday’s blog was what planes did I buy? I got the 102 Iron low angle block plane that fits my hand to a tee and the 62 low angle jack plane which is heavy and works wonders on the shooting board. It’s going to be hard to wait for these to come, but the wait will be worth it.
Today’s class was a wrap up day. The project, which, of course, was not the object of the class, but everyone needs a project was a long grain cutting board with bread board ends. The main emphasis of the class was to learn sharpening and the cutting board was just gravy. Of course, the project focused us on using the skills we learned to make it.
One thing I found quite neat was the fact that now that I’m working with a very sharp blade, I’m not stopping to sharpen that often. It’s amazing how long a blade will stay sharp when it’s been sharpened correctly in the first place.
We actually started the cutting board yesterday and worked on it today. Yesterday we managed to get the two boards flattened and glued up. Deneb taught us how to do a spring joint. This is one joint that I really never understood exactly. But now that I’ve done it, I wonder why I could not see its value before.
How we were shown to do the joint was (and I am sure my explanation will be lacking – but I’ll do the best I can) to do this on the shooting board.
First – get as straight an edge as possible. I’ve always thought that you needed to keep the board’s edge tight to the edge of the shooting board with just a little hang over to be planed off. Deneb does not do that. He lets the board hand over about 3/8 to 1/2” and shoots it until he gets a uniform shaving across the length. After he gets that he does a stop cut. You do this by placing the plane’s blade about 1/2” from the end and planing to about 1/2” from the opposite end. You continue shooting like this until you get no more shavings. Then you take a full length pass on the board. You should get a shaving that heavy at the start, gets skinnier as you go and then thickens out again. This will create a “spring.” If done properly, you should be able to put your two boards together and when moving them against one another should feel a resistance, or friction, at both ends but the boards should have no friction in the middle. You may see a small amount of light in the middle, but not necessarily. If you see a little light that’s ok.
Before I forget to do the spring joint – first position your boards how you would like them to be in the finished stage. Then draw a triangle across the width – flip the right hand board over onto the left hand board so that the two parts of the triangle are now laying facing each other. It’s like folding a towel——both parts of the triangle are on the same side, but facing each other. That’s the side that you will joint. When you “unfold” the joint the joint will come together smoothly. Any error in degrees, will cancel each other out.
I’m about to time out on my internet connection. Will continue this is another entry.
-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine