Finally got a chance to sweat in the shop….I mean work in the shop today. Wisconsin may not be as hot as Texas (ever) but we sure get some humid days and being inside the garage, even with a box fan going full blast is good recipe for weight loss! Today’s first order of business was to start crafting a carving mallet so I could do the details on the leg chop. I don’t have one and quite frankly, I just think they’re cool. But…I’m going to take a non-tr...
I decided to try my hand today at cleaning my great-grandfather Herbie's tools that my dad donated to the shop around Halloween. As you can see they’re pretty rusted and well used. The hammer is clearly missing a handle and the two chisels definitely need new handles (one is broken off in the cone, the other has it’s handle but that thing is so dry rotted it hardly weighs anything). After some research on the internet I found a couple home-remedy ideas (I don’t have t...
More progress on Jim’s light plates has occurred lately. Here’s the update: I took the piece of siding that he gave me and measured out where the crests and valleys were on the back of the wood and went to town with chisels and Kröktskaft. Boy, aspen sure does pare nice and smooth with little effort (well, sharp tools help too): In short order I had carved out a nice groove on each piece that fit perfectly onto the siding: With the exception of the fact that my plan ha...
Just before we left on our trip, my parents came up from Florida to visit in the last week in October. With them, besides lots of laughs and smiles and good times with the grandkids, they brought me some of my Dad’s tools that had been collecting dust down in the sunshine state. He decided that since he wasn’t really doing anything with them, he’d rather see them in my shop making sawdust rather than collecting dust. Who am I to argue with the wisdom of my father? Espe...
For all the version with pictures, please click here. I guess I got a bug to get more organized as the projects I’m working on get more complicated, storing all the tools in the rolling tool chest o’ many drawers is getting awkward. Plus it seems like all the cool kids have a chisel rack…. I came up with this a few days ago in my head, but I’m sure it’s just an amalgamation of all the cool designs I’ve seen out there. I’m pretty sure the slo...
Please click here to see the version with pictures. I made some good progress for the 20 minutes I had to work on the bench today. I used the utility knife to chamber the edges of the two locking nut/wood discs I fabricated, then polished off the wood with 220 grit sandpaper for a nice smooth finish that didn’t end up overly round. I also got out the 3/8” paddle bit and started to hog out the slot for the support guide at the bottom of the leg vise. I ran out of time to...
For the version with pictures, please click here. I didn’t have much spare time today but what I did have I used to take care of the next couple steps in the leg vise drama. First I removed the threaded rod and hacked off about 6-8” worth from the end. The rod was just about 2” too long to allow the chop to fully close. Then I figured out how to mount a handle. It occurred to me while I was trying to remove the rod from the bench from the test fit. If I could car...
Here’s the link to the post with pictures. Today I finally had enough of thinking and worrying about how to mount the leg vise. After all, once I drill that big hole through the leg, there’s no going back! I got out the Black and Decker Woodwrecker and a 5/8” paddle bit, then punched a hole in the chop for the threaded rod. Then i carefully lined up the chop exactly where I wanted it…leveled it and clamped it in place. I marked the spot on the leg where the hole...
To see more pictures of the project, click here. Continuing work on the Telrad base was easy—-cloudy nights=busy days. I added a wedge to the front of the Telrad base to make it more secure when attached, shaped the whole thing and made some nice edges. I think this is just going to be an experiment in getting it done—-if I like how it handles in the field, I may make it out of oak or something more stable and solid than pine (this was all pieces of 2×4 cutoff). I h...
Please click here for this image heavy post. For those of you who don’t know me, I am an amateur astronomer (besides dabbling in woodworking, writing, art, etc…). I started an astronomy at Wordpress lately to post pictures I’ve been taking through my telescope and other tidbits. I thought of a way yesterday to merge my two biggest hobbies, astronomy and woodworking. I decided to make a base for my Telrad reflex sight, to fit atop the Texas Yard Cannon. And, to make...
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