Assiniiboine Community College Woodworking course #2: Day 2 Late again!!!

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Blog entry by Mark Shymanski posted 01-14-2011 07:14 AM 1144 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Day 1 (2011 Jan 11 Tuesday) Part 2 of Assiniiboine Community College Woodworking course series Part 3: I made it on time today!!!! »

I used to hate students like me who know when the course starts but still show up late, mea culpa. I was 15 minutes late again today as I had to go into Winnipeg for my uncle’s funeral today. Usually we can drive in and out in good time but today the roads were terrible, with semis, pickups and cars littering the ditches along the Trans Canada… anyway we got there and back safely although at one point I thought I was going to have to attend a smash up on a bridge, but fortunately there were no injuries and the fire guys pushed the car off the road and got traffic moving again…good thing ‘cause I had nothing with me and wasn’t really prepared or dressed for it!

Any way I did manage to get there just in time to miss the didactic but did catch the tail end of the demonstration on sharpening chisels. Ryan uses oil stones and a slow speed grinder with a white wheel (didn’t catch the specifics on the stone) and a leather strop. Ryan advocates grinding new chisels to the angle you’ll be most comfortable with (which depends on the type of work and wood you mainly use) suggesting a range of 15 to 30 degrees. He, because of the nature of work he does, likes about 17 degrees. I really appreciate how he is teaching from his experience and isn’t just giving us textbook rote stuff. I respect that he advocates sharpening often during the course of using the chisels and not just when they are dangerously dull!

We spent the balance of the time working on some rudimentary joinery (half laps and cross laps) cut by hand tools…I have to admit I was missing my router table doing these, but really really enjoyed the process and will certainly use the measure and markup methods Ryan is teaching us. I have a new found appreciation for the marking gauge and marking knives. Ryan finished up the day by taunting us with some instruction on how to properly use a hand plane (I immediately thought of Betsy and here Plane School vacation :-).

Well my hands are sore from all the chiselling (my router never makes my hands sore ;-) and I am beat from the drive and funeral so I’ll stop now thanks for reading and I hope you all have a good night.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

6 comments so far

View MayflowerDescendant's profile


414 posts in 2815 days

#1 posted 01-14-2011 10:00 AM

Hey Mark,

Sorry to hear of your Uncle’s passing. Our condolences.

On a different note, just wanted to say I enjoy your blog of the Assiniboine woodworking course experience. Thanks for sharing what you are learning, inter-mixed with a bit of fun / humour. Can’t wait for the next instalment.

Take care and enjoy!

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4189 days

#2 posted 01-14-2011 11:01 AM

(my condolences, as well)

“to router or not to router” that is the question :)

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2917 days

#3 posted 01-14-2011 03:43 PM

my condolences to you and Bill for your loss.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5621 posts in 3741 days

#4 posted 01-15-2011 05:01 AM

Thank you for the condolences; I’ve felt like the generations before and after us are kinda like layers of an onion, as the outer layers peel off the inner ones take over protecting the ones further in… I guess the onion lost another layer with my uncle’s passing and his kids and our generation have moved to the outer layer now… okay the analogy isn’t the best but it kinda works for me.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View steve71's profile


29 posts in 2824 days

#5 posted 01-15-2011 03:09 PM

my condolences to you & yours

View BobG's profile


172 posts in 2990 days

#6 posted 01-15-2011 03:23 PM

MY condolences Mike, Uncles are hard to replace and long time missed!

I read that somewhere and it just kind of stuck with me.

I will never look at an onion a the same way again!

-- BobG, Lowell, Arkansas--------My goal in life is to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am! Make more saw dust!!

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