Spending time with the hand tool crowd this past weekend brings to mind some ideas about utility. And why not? The right tool for the job depends on many factors like skill, economy, and cost. Not just the quiet of the shop alone gets weight in this decision. How many times does a jig get made on the saw and drill press in order to work later on by hand? These choices we make to use hand tools or powered ones are driven by our need to build work. Sometimes building the product wins at...
While sifting through a tool bin at an antique store near me, I came across a rust try square that looked like it could clean up nicely, so I took the $3 risk. I sanded the rusted cast iron base with 220, and used electrolysis to remove the rust on the rule. The ruler has a bit of wear on the tips but the edges are dead square. The spirit level in the base is still in great condition. After sanding and scraping the gunk, I gave the base a new coat of gloss black paint. Th...
Over the weekend I setup an appointment with a computer client to review a Windows XP to Linux conversion, providing a much more powerful and newer machine than her tired old Dell. The street price for my services and machine was going to be around $250, depending on training time given. We got to talking about what I have been doing since the last we spoke (about 2 years). When I mentioned I was expanding into woodworking she told me about a stash of her grandfather’s hand tools she wo...
Ok, let me preface by saying that when I first got into woodworking, I started buying up every power tool there was (Mostly craigslist buys) and every nifty jig from taper jigs to dovetail guides to router bits, etc. In growing up in a house where my dad had essentially one main power tool in his shop (Not a woodworker, but a DIY handman contruction type shop.), a radial arm saw and then occasionally an old makita 10” miter saw, I had a love for power tools. For christmas and birthdays ...
I thought I’d let my woodworking buddies know that my DVD was published! In my above video I share a preview of the DVD that I just produced & released with Popular Woodworking Magazine, titled: “Building a Traditional 18th Century Jointer Plane with Bill Anderson. It’s nearly 4 hours of instruction! Bill and I wanted to create a very affordable and detailed class that would be easily understood by both beginner and advanced woodworkers, and we achieved that…with the help of R...
My office building where I work is upgrading their HVAC system, and the new equipment was delivered packed in long crates. The wood was going to be scrapped so I loaded up my hatchback and brought it home. Now I figure I have to make a proper workbench, since I’ve been making do with a wobbly 1950’s kitchen table on hairpin legs (cool table, but it makes a crappy workbench). I like how the Roubo style benches look, and they seem pretty straightforward to build. I found Chris Sc...
Earlier this afternoon I started out with the notion I would get as much of the superstructure for the table saw done as time would allow for. The bottom of the base (seen earlier) is made entirely out of new lumber, which wasn’t my intention from the onset. I was getting ready to make a trip out to our local Lowe’s for more 2” x 4”s when I decided to use the reclaimed lumber in the dungeon. After I found a couple of boards with straight edges long enough to cut to ...
My grandfather was born in 1913 and lived in Charlotte, N.C. He died in 1987 when I pretty young. I knew him as a very soft-spoken family man. I have also heard numerous stories about his skill as a woodworker. The best examples I have are the hand-carved firearm stocks he made (he was an avid hunter). Other than a few things he made, I know him by his tools. Most of his tools went to my father back in the late-80s. When my dad passed away (almost 2 years ago), I gathered as many o...
So quite awhile back I was blessed with a Walker Turner 14” bandsaw for just $100 bucks, which I lauded as my way to finally resaw all these cool boards I’ve ammassed- and to this day I still cant get the blade to stay on. Harumph! So I finally got fed up and said to myself, how hard can it be to resaw by hand!? Since I got my Disston D-7 5 1/2 ppi rip saw, I haven’t even tried! My previous attempts were so awful, that I was discouraged… I started with a test p...
In my above video I share my recent tour of the traditional carpenter & cooper workshop in at Middleton Place, a former plantation near Charleston, South Carolina. Sorry, the video is a little shaky. But fortunately my photos below are not! Ahhh, what could be better than a traditional workshop in a heavenly location like this? (pssst…ignore the aligators) Nobody was manning their workshop station while I poked my head into this workshop, so I just gave myself a tour. I ...
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