Things that just happen, break. #1: If I touch it, will it break?

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Blog entry by Kirk posted 08-05-2007 02:13 AM 1090 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Things that just happen, break. series Part 2: Where do you store your 'dowels'? »

After building the workbench I ended up with a 3/16” dip on one of the long sides. Being a designer in the auto manufacturing world, I thought I need something that I could us my router to hover over the surface and take off that amount. That would make it flat. But what kind of a machine would I have to build?

I thought about barn door hangers and its tracks. But that I didn’t feel comfortable. I even thought about using ¼” wall 3” square tubing. But that would be more money that I wanted to spend, and what would I do with it after I was done with it. Besides, my wife might not like that idea.

Well, while I was at the store, Lowes or was it Home Depot, I was walking by the tools. I look down and saw a #3 Stanley Bench Plane. So I bought it. Great, so I thought.

I come from a family that had the first black smith shop in our small town. We even had some old antique tools. One was an 18” bench plane. But that got lost in the move out here. Every time I used a plane I would end up with a dip. Nothing was ever flat. Oh yes, and if I didn’t plane with the grain, chip outs.

With all that in mind, I raised the blade just ever so slightly above the sole. Shavings were very thin. Just the setting I thought I wanted. Perfect. But with grain going both directions, planning with the grain wasn’t the answer. So across the grain I went. Talk about chip out, it looked like milled or rough cut.

Now another thing happened to me. I went to adjust the blade on the plane, the adjustment yoke broke. Pot metal you see. Hop on the computer and check out and believe it or not they had a replacement. When I received it, it wasn’t pot metal, it was stamped steel riveted together and a new roll pin.

What had I done? Besides, this planning thing is too slow.

Enter and look for a power planner. Right? Well I thought I would find one of those like I saw at the store. I saw one for $9.50. I put in a bid of $9.95 and won. Great, right?
Wrong. First the tool didn’t have a UL listing. And the brand name, ‘America’s Favorite Power Tool’. Not what I expected. That wasn’t all either. When I sighted down the sole plate, the blade was twisted by what I found out to be 0.035”. Out here, finding shim stock isn’t easy, after visiting seven places, I got some. Now that worked but the blade hung below the sole plate by 0.010” or less. Now it is working.
Well after checking with my four foot level and finding the high spots and knot them down one way or another I got it to less than 1/64” anywhere. Now was the time to bring out the sanders. One for each hand, right?

This bench isn’t a work of art, nor is it something that won’t things dropped on it. Heck, a pencil leaves a small groove. I still have to deal with the ends that got chopped up by my planner. The in and out feed tables not on the same level, causing chopping about 8” from the end.
I wander what else I can break?

-- W. Kirk Crawford - Tularosa, New Mexico

4 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4281 days

#1 posted 08-05-2007 04:48 AM

What ever breaks next, as long as it is not your spirit or heart, it can be fixed!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6851 posts in 3949 days

#2 posted 08-05-2007 08:12 AM

My Dad used to have a saying:” If it ain’t broke, don’t break it”

Words to live by.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3932 days

#3 posted 08-05-2007 03:10 PM

Just another day in the shop

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View WayneC's profile


13753 posts in 4067 days

#4 posted 08-05-2007 03:29 PM

I’ve had days like this as well.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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