As an engineer I’m always curious about claims of big improvements. When it comes to turning tool steel, there are a lot of marketing claims that some of the newer tool steels can get 3x to 10x more cutting time vs standard M2 HSS between sh...
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1230 posts in 1592 days
Location: Lebanon, MO
Some form of woodworking for 30 years. Up until ~2006 it was more finishing/refinishing furniture with a few building projects thrown in. Then my son started woodworking class in high school which got me more interested in design and building projects. I played with hand planes and scrapers some, but have become pretty engrossed with them over the past couple of years.
I arrived at hand planes because I wanted furniture tops and other surfaces to be flat. I built a cross slide for my router, which could get surfaces pretty flat, but then I learned about tearout (wondering why the grain pattern was all fouled up after planing with the router). After some research, I decided a 30"+ planer probably wasn't in my future, but I read a lot about what hand planes could do. It took a while (many months of fiddling in the shop) but I finally learned how to set them up, how to get a good sharp blade edge, and how to get a surface flat and smooth. I have a working collection of Stanley style and Veritas iron bench & block planes and various wooden "oriental" style wood planes (which work quite well properly tuned). Learning how to adjust wooden planes has been interesting (& fun at times!).
I use power tools for the grunt work - board planing, grooving, sawing, edging, etc. The planes and scrapers are for flattening and smoothing panels, jointing, squaring stock on a shooting board, and taking the place of sandpaper - no scrub planes for me ( I do have one I use to make chips for my smoker!).
My workshop/garage shares space with my other hobbies - motorcycles, reloading, fly fishing. I turn part of it into a spray booth when it's time to put the finish on. I've become pretty good in the finishing spectrum, and am now bringing the design/building side up to spec.
I'm a degreed mechanical engineer from Oklahoma State with 30 years in product & process design, testing, quality, manufacturing, and management in those areas. There is a good chance your home (and shop) AC or heat pump unit has one of our Copeland Scroll compressors in it!
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Lots of questions come up concerning various “oil” and poly finishing mixtures and methods. Below are links to two articles by Bob Flexner that provide a great deal of information on the subject. The first is from 2008, the second from 2011. ht...
Blotching is uneven coloring on the substrate, and wood is the substrate I am discussing here. There are many ways to change the look of wood – dyes, dye stain, pigment stain, and variations of both (paint, glazes, and pigment only stains pr...
Clamping cauls are superior to dowels and biscuits for aligning panel glue ups. No, they don’t align the ends of the boards, but biscuits have too much play to do so, and have too much play to align the board edges. Dowels will align the ends, but...
This tutorial is about the process I use to create a segmented bowl, or about any segmented turning item. After researching many methods and trying many of them, I’ve been able to put together a fairly simple and robust process that uses as few sp...