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Blog series by Smitty_Cabinetshop updated 46 days ago 46 parts 59134 reads 970 comments total

Part 1: This, My Friends, Is a Pencil Sharpener!

802 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 24 comments »

Picked this up at an estate sale, and only knew what it was because P. Leach had one in a Tool List some months ago. Yeah, I wanted the one he had, but just couldn’t pull the trigger. This one was more affordable… Consider this style of sharpening an evolutionary dead end. At the time this was available, the other prevalent style of sharpeners were thimble-like devices with wings, that were turned. This is mounted to the edge of a table and the pencil is drawn across the ir...

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Part 2: Traditional Cabinetmaker's Tail Vise

802 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 24 comments »

This bench is at my dad’s shop in a nearby town, decided it would get more use there than next to mine. He’s not the kinda guy to use it, though, oh well. In the meantime, if you’re looking at adding a tail to your bench build, thought it’d be worthwhile to post a few pictures showing the detail of the build way back when (bench is about a hundred years old, would have to guess). It actually isn’t as weird when you see the nits and grit...

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Part 3: Shop Fan Club!

800 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 28 comments »

Of all things vintage, needed an electric fan for the shop now that summer is here. Shopping for tools in the antique malls upstate from my small shop, I discovered electric fans are an expensive pursuit. Especially if it has brass fan blades. When I spotted this Westinghouse model for $5.50, knew there’d be a catch… As is. Rats. Took a chance though, and glad I did. Straightened the bent the cage and added some machine oil before spinning it by hand for about ten minutes. ...

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Part 4: A Vintage Tool Chest

771 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 37 comments »

Bought this at Auction over the weekend, mostly to keep it out of the hands of an antique dealer. Nails at the hinges are the oldest I’ve ever seen – clinched and appear to be hand forged. Handles outstanding, also clinched. Plane tracks visible inside and out. But, no lid. There are a few round (modern) nails driven in at the corners that I’ll remove, and there are four more driven across the dovetails halfway up each corner (one visible in the pic) that would requir...

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Part 5: Get a Handle On It!

763 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 11 comments »

Amazing to find that what’s old is new again! Japanned? Made in New Britain? Four pairs with slotted screws, wrapped in wax paper. One pair certainly destined for the sides of the wall-hung tool cabinet! :-) Where to go with the other three pair? Meh, no hurry to decide. Thanks for looking!

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Part 6: Help!! Looking for Old Iron Caster Wheels

754 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 20 comments »

Fellow LJs, I hope one of you can help me with a challenge! I’m trying to (re-) build a tool chest and want to put steel wheels on it. Old ones. I have a pair, but need four. Do you have two cast wheels / casters that look like this? ! ! Height and material and style important; having an exact match not so much. Have you held onto anything like these? Or if you have four wheels that are alike, would you be willing to make a deal with a fellow LJ?

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Part 7: (SW) Dumb Luck

753 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 15 comments »

Went to my Dad’s shop to see if he had casters I was looking for (no), when in a drawer caught my attention. Looked like something I scanned on ebay, so I flipped it over. Ah! Have to find a most worthy cause for the pair! Thanks for looking.

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Part 8: Common Chest Handles

750 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 26 comments »

Working on a chest refurb, and pretty much the fanciest thing remaining on the old thing were the side handles. I’d not seen anything like them before, but now a second pair appeared on a trunk in a nearby antique shop. Wierd. No, I didn’t buy the chest. Nice, but not $465-nice…

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Part 9: Pulling an Iron Into Shape

646 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 11 comments »

Vintage iron on a ‘new’ tool for the shop, decided to take a few pictures as I walked through the ‘sharpening’ of the iron. first step is flattening the back, and that showed me a flaw: A convex back, meaning the sides aren’t flat to the back overall. After a few hundred strokes on the corse DMT, better but not wonderful. At a point, I moved on and will monitor performance of the tool over time… Moving to the primary bevel, know that a sharp e...

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Part 10: A Stanley #50 in the House!

644 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 26 comments »

Won a Stanley #50 on the ‘bay a few weeks ago. It had irons and a user-made box, but alas, a single rod. I sat the body of the plane in Evaporust and began a local search for a #50 rod. A machine shop in my small town took the challenge, and tonight delivered (to my door, no less!) old and new! So it’s in the box and complete! Does it work? Cuts with an iron ‘out of the box’ show promise! So an agile plough plane is in the ho...

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Part 11: New Connections with the Past

632 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 24 comments »

Went to see my Aunt and Uncle over the weekend, and came home with a very small, but important, set of items. The white ‘blob’ at the base of the picture is a sandbag. Doesn’t seem like much, but way back when, my grandad had a real cabinetshop, and the sandbag in the picture is a third of three that I now have in my shop, stamped with my grandad’s mark. My dad gave me two, and while I was talking with my uncle, I happened to mention LJs and a project post I mad...

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Part 12: Atkins 'Floral' Handsaw Refurb

607 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 39 comments »

Ornate carving, not seen it before. Medallion is Warranted Superior, not sure it’s original. Repairs will be done, but I’m hoping for a pic of an original. Suggestions? Thanks! EDIT: The saw’s ID is clear, refurb steps captured below. This saw will be resurrected one way or another… Here’s the repaired handle. EDIT #2: Donor blade ID’d: Cut, drilled and fit (broken orig. alongside): EDIT: Done, see below.

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Part 13: A Wedge for a Round

606 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 8 comments »

A very quick installment to confess my sin: I destroyed a wooden, skewed rabbet plane today. Yes, I know, that’s bad. Can it be justified, however, by the fact that it was already modified, not complete AND could be used to resurrect two more useful planes? The skewed rabbet has been around for a couple of years, unused. And crooked. Then I picked up four wooden planes last weekend that included a H&R pair. Owners mark and maker stamps matched on three of them, too. But neither the ...

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Part 14: Flea Mkt Finds

591 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 13 comments »

26” DE (Diamond Edge) handsaw, 7/8” Round Moulder, Pair ‘o Clamps, Folding Rules (inside), Bits and Brace, Hammer New toys for $30 total… Merry Christmas, Early! :-)

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Part 15: A Review of Folding 'Zig Zag' Rulers

588 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 11 comments »

Double post from another blog topic, but wanted to put it somewhere I could readily add to later. Here goes! A very incomplete review of folding rules, and there are a number of variations. The first picture shows a vintage stainless steel Lufkin Rule Co. No. 1174 EM. It’s an outside measure rule for English, and inside measure for metrics. Don’t know how old it is. Another rule in the picture is the Lufkin Two Way, Model 966. It’s an inside rule through and th...

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Part 16: How Do I Find These Things?

515 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 43 comments »

My son came to meet me tonight when I got home to tell me he of a ‘scavenge’ opportunity he lined up. Long story short, here’s one of the things we rescued from the dumpster: The lock is in place, as is the keyplate. Now to find a key that works, tighten this thing up, and enjoy! No work to do with this one compared to the last one. Good times! :-)

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Part 17: A Wooden 'What is this?'

514 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 20 comments »

I picked this up yesterday for the material, but now I wonder what it is. Has some characteristics of an old drafting board, or easle, but it would have been very out of place to be where it was found. Clear and straight grained, no pin holes or ink marks. Jointed, but not bread-boarded ends. Note the little ‘shelf’ pieces are on one side then the other. Like a ‘Z’ or zig-zag thing. Any ideas as to the purpose of this thing? Thanks!

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Part 18: Natural Light is On The Way

509 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 32 comments »

Here’s what I’ve had. I’ve peeled the inside to prepare for a change. This window will be installed tomorrow! Looking forward to more light; about 35% more by my calculations, not that I’ve counted. :-) I’ll update when it’s in!

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Part 19: A Good Deal on Pecan?

507 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 18 comments »

Bought this rough-sawn, aged and cured pecan at auction today for $70: Eighteen boards between 5 and 8 inches in width, all 8’ long, all at least an inch thick. Good? Bad? Just ‘fine,’ or ?

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Part 20: Whatsit Update: It's a Typesetter's Composing Stick!

493 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 17 comments »

Found this at a flea mkt today, paid $2 for it. Well machined, smooth operation, obviously used. The ‘arm’ slides along the right wall of the main ‘tray,’ then is clamped into place. I don’t know what operation would need a three sided clamp that’s 1/2” deep. Maybe it’s a part someone needs for a machine, or maybe it’s forever an “I dunno.” Can you help with a guess? Thanks.

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Part 21: The DW102 Powershop Bench

469 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 31 comments »

Anyone on LJs have first-hand experience with this cabinet? Seen one? Have one? The baffle appears to catch sawdust, but short of lifting the saw out of place, how do you extract the caught dust? Strangest design I’ve seen it awhile… I have the measured drawing, it offers no text as to how to ‘use’ this baffle feature. Strongly considering building something close to this bench for my DeWalt RAS, and I’ll include some type of dust collection that featur...

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Part 22: A 'New' Medicine Cabinet

410 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 17 comments »

Need to replace an old steel medicine cabinet that’s rusty on the outside chrome and otherwise in ‘not so good’ condition. It’s recessed into the wall a bit, and surrounded w/ tile I don’t wish to disturb. I’ll make one of wood that’s on hand, with a mirrored door. Many more pictures than words. Here we go! Kind of a ‘hybrid’ shop effort (handplaning of stock, drywall screws and glue for joine...

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Part 23: Reworking a Cheap F-Style Clamp

410 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 10 comments »

I bought a set of four F-style clamps a decade ago for probably $5 at one of those tool ‘auctions’ of new stuff, the precursor to Harbor Freight (perhaps). Anyway, over the years they’ve lost their ‘grab’ and I can’t tighten them with any certainty, with any significant pressure. But I’ve held off throwing them away. Anyway, Today I wanted to clamp through a doghole in my benchtop and reached for one of these bad boys. Ground off the stud at the...

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Part 24: Things that Arrive in the Shop

393 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 13 comments »

A couple of purchases from the ‘bay panned out last week and came in the mail today: A box of New Old Stock (NOS) Stanley pulls, a 9” No. 21 SW combination square (the 7” is alongside just because, well, because they’re a set now!). From another source came a 10” Cincinnati Saw Company backsaw. This is a company name run by George Bishop in the later part of the 19th century, from what I’ve read. They all look good together, and it’s nice to have them...

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Part 25: Saw Files

387 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 15 comments »

There has been a great deal of chatter across the interweb on saw files, or the lack thereof, and if nothing else it’s heightened my awareness as I look through rust piles at fleas, auctions, etc. Yesterday I stopped at what otherwise is a regular haunt to find an irregular site: Bins containing saw files marked $1, $2, $3 etc based on length. Well, I bunched up all the Keen Kutter files in whatever bin had them, then rounded out the search will files marked Nicholson USA and even a ...

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Part 26: New Medicine Cabinet, Pt 2

387 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 24 comments »

Last go-round, I insisted the project was moving along quickly. Hah. Today it was still like this (foot in the picture and all), on the floor of my shop. Some planing of the inside face got the post-glueup faces cleaned up, then the #62 was called on to get the mirror doorframe to size for the cabinet’s overall frame. It fit! Now onto some hinges. Old hinges, found screws in the wood screw drawer (which was tough, eight of them rqd), got to do some chislin&#...

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Part 27: Pewter Cupboard in Milkpaint

380 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 48 comments »

Can’t find where I introduced this, but it’s a cabinet my son made in HS shop class last year but didn’t finish. A ‘threshold’ was missing below the door that needed to be added. Used the #66 to create add a detail to the main shelf, And with crown moulding it was ready for finishing. I applied 3:2:1 mix to the T&G back (all material is reclaimed), taped that off and primed the rest for milk paint. Tonight was the night to experime...

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Part 28: Cupboard in Milkpaint - Complete!

372 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 16 comments »

A couple years ago now, my son and I worked through some reclaimed 1x stock for him to take to school for a shop project: a Pewter Cupboard. He and I jointed the edges with ole’ Heft and Hubris (the #8, course!) and had fun with that, but it was his project to work over the course of the year at shop class. Well, he got close to completing it, but some final pieces were left undone and the carcase came home to roost. Here’s what it looked like at that stopping point: No...

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Part 30: Labor Day Labours - Pine Tree to Future Stock

330 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 14 comments »

Cut down a 50’ ponderosa pine in the spring, today was the day my #2 son helped me load up the 9’ trunk for a short trip to a nearby buddy with a Wood-Mizer. 1” boards for the whole thing. 90bf, cost me a thirty pack of beer… Oh, and he had this pile of cherry… 330bf… headed for Houston TX. Beautiful! ===== ===== ====== ===== ===== ===== ===== ==== I brought my modest pile of pine back to the shop, where it’s now...

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Part 31: Grandpa's Bench

294 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 17 comments »

My grandad at various times of his life was a union carpenter as well as cabinetmaker. Ran his own shop and had, I’m sure, a number of workbenches in his cabinet shop. Well, many years ago at my great aunt’s estate auction this bench came up for bid. I had noticed only minutes before it had been stamped with Grandpa’s cabinet shop mark. Bought it for $5 and had it bouncing from garage to shed to wherever until my shop hit the scene. It’s been there ever since, and got ...

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Part 32: Cut-offs Bin

289 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 7 comments »

A very early build for my shop was this cut-offs bin. It was my first attempt at frame and panel joinery and is all salvage material. I joined the side boards via half-lap, used no screws until it was glued up and set (just added some runners on the bottom and inside slats to the sides). So far it’s held up well. It’s outta there now to clear the shop room as it goes cleaned top-to-bottom. Not much of a blog entry, I know, but wanted to capture it as it’s not been men...

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Part 33: Grandpa's Bench, Redux

266 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 23 comments »

Last installment of Shop Stuff showed Grandad’s bench as it moved out the shop. The wood floor is done now, and it’s time to move stuff back in. The bench was no exception, and it found new life as the base cabinet-like piece for my not-a-Wall Hung tool cabinet. But, long story short, I just didn’t like that it was so much deeper than the tool cabinet. The aesthetic was wrong, and I need the depth when the workbench comes back into the space. So I debated a mod...

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Part 34: Cabinet Changes, Cont'd

260 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 49 comments »

Long time ago, I lamented about underutilized space in this cabinet and did some rework to it. With the shop being re-assembled post-floor, some more work needs to be done on this cabinet that was originally in a hardware store. it does come apart, top unit and bottom unit. And the top unit includes a curved back to it (visible above the coffee cans and gray parts bin), apparently when there were curved ‘seed bins’ that pulled out. Time to go, it’s cramping my styl...

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Part 35: Cabinet Changes - Making a Board (?)

251 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 27 comments »

Yeah, I titled this “Making a Board (?)” because that’s what it entails. I have a need for a board that is 17” wide and 93” long, oak along the front edge. Ain’t got one of those handy, so I have to make it out of a salvage piece of pine along with some rough cut red oak. How, you may ask? Well, I doubt that you asked, but I’m certain you know the process is forthcoming. If you know anything about my installments here on LJs, you know a process is for...

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Part 36: Just Another Shop Cabinet In-Work...

235 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 28 comments »

Really nothing much to see here, just goofing around with storage stuff in the workspace, post-floor, and wanting everything to match at least kinda… So I have a large base cabinet that I call an assembly (assy) table. It was painted up when it came back into the space with colors that complimented the hardware cabinet in the background. Time, though, for a shelving piece that sits at the wall-end and compliments the styling of said hardware cabinet as well. So I pulled so...

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Part 37: Artwork: Carlyle (IL) Swinging Bridge

233 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 13 comments »

I have this painting of the General Dean Suspension Bridge in Carlyle, IL. It is painted on a 4’x8’ sheet of masonite, with a pencil sketch on the reverse (smooth) side and the finished work on the textured side. The painting is signed R. Czerwonka, and I know nothing of this gentlemen but it may be: RAYMOND CZERWONKA of Hoffman IL Date of birth: December 13, 1927Date of death: June 15, 2007 Just posting it here because Google finds nothing on any of this. Mayb...

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Part 38: New Tool Arrival: A Fine Bronze Head

231 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 9 comments »

Short and sweet. A mini-swap with Jim “Boatman” of LJs, he sent me something first: a brass (no, make that bronze) mallet head he made. It’s small, it’s beautiful. I have to come up with a suitable handle, but started with a simple dowel to get some idea of ideal length. What I didn’t realize was balance may be optimized if I choose a handle style that can incorporate some kind of counterweight. Not a lot, but you know what I mean. Anyway, I love it!...

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Part 39: Just Another Shop Cabinet DONE

228 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 11 comments »

I left off calling this a Win, even though the upper half had no backside… The goal was to match (more or less) this cabinet to the one alongside it. The backside of that cabinet has T&G beadboard along the bottom, and galvanized metal on the upper half. So I ordered some steel on Wednesday and it was ready for pickup this afternoon. Got it to the shop, it was time to get busy. First task was to lightly punch locations for screws. Then drill holes. The...

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Part 40: Another "It's Not Walnut" Moment

212 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 16 comments »

Okay. So I did a table refurb that went into it’s second or third week before I realized it wasn’t walnut but mahogany. Well, early last summer my son bought a pile of scrap wood that included these old stair treads and risers. Finally getting around to sorting some of the piles of wood moved and arranged for the shop floor project, and inspecting / stacking this material came to the forefront. Anyway… I sorted the pieces by dividing risers from treads, and that...

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Part 41: Shop Art!

210 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 34 comments »

Not a huge or complex project, but one that makes the shop a nicer place. Picked up eight Stanley shop charts a while back. Like, quite a while back. June of this year, specifically. Well, with the shop floor project done and the charts managing to stay together that whole time, a more permanent solution had to be found vs. having them on a shelf gathering dust. So I slapped together some very rough frames… glued together all the half lap joints… then reach...

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Part 42: A Slight Improvement... RAS Dust Collection

208 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 8 comments »

A good thing to do in 2014 involved capturing the sawdust thrown from my DeWalt RAS. This solution is stolen straight from “hjt” here on LJs. The key for me was using the Irwin expansion bit to get the right-sized hole in the backboard: Scrap pine on three sides, cut to work behind the saw’s rear fence. Also low profile, to ride under the motor. Connected to a very small shop vac. A little bit of silicon caulk sealed the inside of the box and a small bea...

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Part 43: Shop Art ll

171 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 17 comments »

Had eight pictures and posted them to the shop wall a few weeks ago. Thought that was the end of it, then found four more needing a home. So another frame to build! Content of these is pretty cool stuff, too. And then there were three sets of four… As always, thanks for looking!

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Part 44: New Life for an Old Foreplane

163 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 24 comments »

My son picked up this woody yesterday at auction (back right in the pic), in a box of other stuff, for $1. The iron is a Butcher, the sole was ‘patch-ready.’ Someone had excavated for a new insert ahead of the mouth but it was either gone or not finished. A donor plane cut up long ago gave me the piece I needed. Then it was time to ‘joint the jointer,’ if you will. Something about the left side of this plane that’s amazing. An indent where my...

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Part 45: Quick but Necessary Repair

142 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 31 comments »

Picked up a fun, folding-duet-chair thingy yesterday at auction that had a bum leg. Supposed to look like this But one was this instead Some cuts with the gent’s dovetail saw (in creative clamping get-up) squared things up. Matched up cuts to a piece of mahogany… A glue-up ensued Shaped it, looked great… And we now have functional, interesting shop seating! As always, thanks for looking!

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Part 46: Quick Look: Stanley S4

46 days ago by Smitty_Cabinetshop | 12 comments »

Picked up a Stanley SW #S4 recently, thought I’d show some detail in a post. A faint, stamped “No S4” in front of the knob. Here’s how it looks apart: Worked up the iron, caught an image showing the burr… Then together. Just some shots to show a plane in detail that’s not all that common. Thanks for looking!

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