I am always on the lookout for tools that I need (and always looking for tools I don’t need). But we all know that everything is so damn expensive these days. I have 4 kids so I can’t afford to run out and buy all my tools new. I try and hit yard sales, garage sales and salvage stores when I can. Most of the tools guys like us use are outdated junk to everyone else. The average homeowner owns a compound miter saw nowadays and wouldn’t know which end of a hand saw cuts the wo...
So a little off my main blog but I wanted to clean up the original H. Disston & Sons pre-1917 medallion from my 22” D-8. I’ve used a buffer, Brasso and steel wool, and chemicals on other brass parts before but I didn’t have time to go into my shop today and I didn’t want to lose any of the lettering on the medallion so I decided to try cleaning it up with household items. Here is a list of the items I used:Lemon JuiceBaking PowderA soft clothAn old toothbrush Some ...
So I went to my local salvage/resale store today looking for anything cool they might have up in the tool section. After rummaging through all the junk I found a complete postwar Stanley #4 bench plane for $3.00, some halfway decent rasps for $0.25 each, and few other odds and ends. As I was leaving I decided to dig through all the hand saws they had jammed in an old slop sink. After going through about 30 of them I came across an early Disston. I looked at it for a little while and the handl...
A few weeks ago, I bought 5 Disston No. 4 saws at an auction. One is a pre-1940 type and is the only one that can really be considered to be a desirable, vintage saw. The other 4 are HK Porter types from the 1950’s or newer. Below are a few pictures that show the general condition of the newer saws. They are generally in poor shape, teeth are missing, there is varnish/epoxy in spots, the plates are wavy and maybe kinked, and the teeth look like someone tried to use them as hacksaws....
So after restoring the Brace and Bit last week I got really hooked on restoring old tools. There is something about old tools… that is really amazing and bringing them back to life is so much fun. Ok so to make one thing clear, I like restoring these tools and using them, not just collecting them. I think that these tools where made to be used not just put up for display. I also filmed the restoration process and the video is here: So this week I won an Ebay auction and for $10 I go...
I actually resorted to using my new HF power planer to get the edges of these two boards flat and smooth enough to glue up. But I am most interested in making and constructing right now. I actually love all those dark knots against the lighter colored white pine boards! I did find a relatively good crosscut saw at local GW this evening. Only 8$ (within my price range!) A juxtaposition of saws: I got this saw today while on lunch. I used it tonight to trim the edges of the bottom...
Last year I had the opportunity to drive from Missouri to California to visit my 92 year old Grandmother. It’s always great to see her and visit the house that she and my Grandfather lived in my whole life. About 15 years ago my Grandfather passed away, and left behind a collection of unique tools in his garage that he had amassed over his lifetime. It was on this visit, last year, that I found an old saw hanging in a locker in the garage. I had no knowledge of hand saws at the time, bu...
Two years back, I graduated from college, got a ‘grown up’ job, and finally had some very limited discretionary income to devote to hobbies. I wanted, more than anything, to get into woodworking. In polite company, I describe it as ‘therapeutic’—a productive and beautiful way to give my hands something to do after a full day of ‘knowledge work’. Among friends however… I let on that, to me at least, the smell of sawdust and shavings is darn near nar...
We all have that one project we’re loath to start (in some cases it may be more like 100 projects), due to the degree of perceived difficulty inherent to the restore. In my recent case it was a small Disston Saw. Not sure of the model, but I picked it up at a flea market for 15 bucks a few years ago… it was straight but snagle toothed and filed 7-8 point cross-cut. Far too coarse for steel that thin. I had thought to make it a 11 or 12 ppi rip saw for large pine dovetails. ...
Shop’s Log: May 5 2014 Having been working on some saw cleanups, modifcations, restorations and refurbs, I was finally ready to tackle a project that has been sitting in the saw till for over a year. Last March, I picked up an 8 inch Disston at an antique shop for a very reasonable amount. I thought at the time all it was going to need was cleaned up and sharpened, but alas, it was not to be. When cleaning up the plate, I found a 1/2in long crack at the toothline. I ha...
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