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...
Our next project in class tune a smoothing plane. We bought a No. 3 Stanley for Kristin at the Swap Meet and I bought a Stanley No. 4C on E-Bay. My plane before tuning. Step 1: Flatten Sole or pay a guy to do itThe sole of the plane before grinding. We set up wet-dry paper on a granite plate and tested the soles. Given the condition of our planes, we decided to take our teacher up on an offer to send the planes to his machinist friend who ground the soles and squared one cheek f...
A few months ago I was helping my dad rearrange the chaos in his garage that we had just placed, shoved, and stacked his entire shop into after moving it from KS to Des Moines and rediscovered a heavy wooden box with hand cut dovetail joinery. I remembered it from loading the Uhaul back in KS too. I played strong man and lifted my grandfather, carpentry tool box by myself into the moving van. It was heavy, stout and showed signs of once being beautiful. I commented to my dad that it should be...
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...
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