I took my wife to First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX. For those of you that do not know, the entire town of Canton, TX becomes a huge flea market on the weekend prior to the first Monday of each month. There you can find lots of planes, but there are two booths that are of particular interest. Those booths have the motherlode of hand planes and other tools. First up a 19th century workbench from Hammacher Schlemmer & Co. Have any of you ever seen an ALUMINUM No. 45? ...
Today, Tuesday at the Treasure Mart in Ann Arbor the were unloading a great workbench. 3” thich maple bench top, metal drawere and an overhead shelf. It’s heavy. It was not priced but their prices are good. Also a really antique . . .really antique, bad shape, Craftsman table saw on a stand. With motor. It is outside in the driveway, left side as you face the building from the sidewalk. Over in Wisconsin at the Waukesha Antique Mart, a number of cases of wooden planes. C...
The other day I stopped at a garage sale in my neighborhood & lo & behold, (wow, I must be getting old, who uses that phrase anymore?) there was a bunch of tools in a box…hickory handled hammer, 2 vice grips, Stanley bit brace, Craftsman channel-lock, a few odds & ends (yes, both odds & ends…not just odds or just ends) and a used but not abused Sargent jack plane. Price for the box: $10. Now, mind you, I’m not a plane collector. But I do have a lot of hand...
I promised myself that I would not build any new projects until I completed my workbench. I have been making do for so long with substandard setups (even winning a "Most Pathetic Workbench" award from Woodworking Magazine), that it takes me at least twice as long on any project than it would with a proper workbench (and even WITH a proper workbench, I will probably take three times as long as you would). It was time to draw the line in the sawdust and say enough is enough. I promised mysel...
I keep telling myself that I’m not a collector…that I’m not on the slippery slope…and as long as I use them (it shouldn’t really matter if I have more than I actually need) I’m still ok-no intervention required. That said, I thought talk a bit about a couple of of the best hand planes out there for a relatively small amount of $$$. I’m referring to Keen-Kutters “K” series (Not the KK series, they are not the same) The K series (th...
No [new] pics or videos in this post, but I thought I’d drop a note for posterity to say that I’m excited about my future of hand plane work and the setting up of parts and sharpening of irons that comes with their use. I own this tiny block plane (lucky review #777!), which was very sharp right out of the blister pack, easily making full width, full length curls from the edges of whatever boards I threw at it. I’m very much a set-it-and-forget guy, usually dreading o...
I think I need help. It’s happening. I cannot stop researching planes and workbenches lately. I don’t have room for a bench, nor money for any planes, but they’re just so enticing! Lie-Nielsen has been the most attractive by far, but I find it staggering the number of planes available – 44 standards listed, with an additional 30 variants, not including left/right hand options for the few that have them (same price in each case). The bench plane model numbers (e.g. N...
Judging by the damage that appears on old wooden planes, patience soon runs out when we handle things that are not operated by a switch! Sometimes this damage is terminal but often with a little care and lots of determination the wooden plane will work again. This video shows the basics of how to handle moulding planes. There is a lot more to investigate and much of that is to do with sharpening, especially when the moulding plane is complex. It’s hard to know how much interest ...
I have been working on a bed for my first grandaughter for quite some time. Since I am finally close to finishing, I will begin a blog on that soon. In the meantime, I will share some more of my handtool journey. Up until now, I know I haven’t shown a lot of practical information—I mean really, who’s actually going to make their mouldings with a wooden hand plane. I showed all that because I found it fasinating to learn how things were done before we got spoiled with power t...
As I have grown older, now 62, I have found that whenever possible I use both smaller power tools and even smaller hand tools. I often turn to my power hand tools instead of using my table saw or even my bandsaw. Instead I use my jig saw and small power saw (5-1/2” blade) with the necessary straight-edge jigs. My block plane is my best friend and I made sanding blocks from sections of hand railing (about 6” long). This along with moving to more non-powered hand tools seems to make...
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