Have you ever gotten the feeling that if only you’d known more at the start of something, you’d have saved yourself a whole lot of time, effort, and money? Maybe it’s just the learning process, but there are a few things I wish I’d known ahead of time before I began buying hand tools for woodworking. In my attempt to document my own progress with the craft, hopefully I’ll provide a little insight into how I managed to assemble a working set of tools. Admittedl...
Intro to Hand ToolsThree Saturdays ago, Kristin and I woke up early and headed down to good ol’ Cerritos Community College to start our new class, Woodworking with Hand Tools. Previously we have taken Basic Woodworking, Cabinet Making and a Furniture Lab together. I have also taken table making and a few more lab classes. I have a pretty good grip on basic furniture making and power tool use, but have been frustrated in my use of hand tools. Kristin is not a fan of huge power tools...
Most people only talk about grain at the most superficial level of how it looks. We woodworkers enter the fibres. We tease the cells apart with the chisel’s edge and search for weaknesses and strengths in the species. We want to know these intimate details so we can exemplify the strengths and protect the weak from harm. I thought that it might help to give my personal insights into the different woods that I have worked with for almost five decades. Most of them are common enough, ...
Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #18: Zero Clearance Insert, Hard Wood Fence Rail, Chisel Sharpening
My day started at 4:30 am, way too early for getting to bed shortly before midnight. I blame this flu I can’t get rid of and a lot of heavy dreaming. And yet, I had one of the most productive days in the past week. Most of the afternoon was spent sharpening chisels, mounting a wood fence rail and creating a zero-clearance insert for the Delta 36-510 Bench Saw. Here are some pics of what I accomplished. The ChiselsThe chisel sharpening took up a good portion of the day. It was my firs...
I want to apologize if my blog has been the most depressing so far. This week my wife lost her grandmother. If you have been following my posts this past year, we have seen a lot of loss in friends and family. She is in a better place, which in and of itself is a relief. On to some good news. I have spent the past 6 months working on a project for a friend of mine. His office was due for some major updates to it’s network and server. This project has taken a lot out of me, both ...
Lots of vegetable gardening done in the past couple of months, and it could not wait, so the harp building project had to wait a while. Finally last week I got back into it after 6 weeks of seldom working on it. Now it is almost done- but let me go back to where I left off in March.I had these beautiful abalone mother-of-pearl wings provided to me by a fine Lumberjock. She also did a great blog about how to do inlays, and that was very helpful to me. I didn’t follow instructions exactly...
So after talking to the owner of the salvage store for a little while he let me go down and pick the basement where all of the items from his estate buy outs go before they put them on the sales floor. I was floored with the amount of stuff that he had down there. Picture a room the size of a football field filled with boxes, trunks, shelves and crates FILLED with amazing stuff. I picked for about 2 hours and found everything we like from vintage, rare Stanley #18 Sweetheart plane, a Stanley ...
Lately I’ve really been getting into hand tools. I asked for a few Japanese chisels for Christmas (one each from a few different people in the family.) I ended up with a set of four from Woodcraft. I decided that this collection was worthy of family heirloom status so I had them laser engraved and built a box to keep them in. I have always had a fascination with Japanese culture, art and woodworking. Lately I have been reading Japanese Woodworking Tools, Their Tradition, Spir...
For all the pictures, please click here. Note: This was supposed to have been posted Saturday the 25th… I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have today to work on the bench so instead of charging ahead with measuring the height of the legs to get ready for installing the top, I decided to do some more mundane tasks. They still are in general preparation for the top, but I just wasn’t planning on doing them first. Before I get going though, I had mentioned yestrday...
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...
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