Restoring a maebiki oga led me to delve into the history of this iconic saw. The maebiki oga (前挽き大鋸, literally ‘large’ saw, dubbed whaleback saw in english) holds an important place in Japan’s history. The oga saw was invented in Japan around 1590, and was in use for 400 years until Japan’s industrial revolution in the Meiji period, when it was superseded by mechanized sawmills. Predecessor saws were first imported from China around 1400 as steel became available. ...
My Granfather’s name was Amos Leveille (pronounced “lev-ee-ay”) – 1909-1973. Upon my mother’s passing several years ago, I inherited what was left of my his tools. They had been left rusting in my mom’s basement for decades. I have been slowly refurbishing them, and putting them to use. It has been very enlightening, from both a tool and a person history perspective. I have given new life to these pieces, and they have returned the favor! Take a look&...
And so we move on to the conclusion of this new useful work surface. When we last left the saw bench, it was dry fitted and ready for gluing. I then added some glue (quite a bit for some of my sloppier joints, and glued the whole thing together. I actually found that the bench was very stable once glued despite my somewhat sloppy joints, so I didn’t need to do any reinforcing beneath. After that, I found that it was a far cry from flat, so I had to spend quite a lot of time getting the ...
The home renovations are nearing an end (for now) and I am making some Victorian style base boards to replace the ones which were torn up during the renovations. More info on the base boards when they are installed. I need to scarf a couple of boards together for the longer walls and miter all the ends. The stock miter gauge worked fine for the smaller pieces but wasn’t up to the task when I tried to cut the ends of the 8’ long 1×10’s; too much torque. A crosscut sled was clearly nee...
Japanese Tools #1: This is the start of a new series where I'm going to clean and fix up tools, specifically Japanese
So. This is the first of hopefully many posts about fixing up Japanese tools, I have a lot of old tools and most of them needs fixing, cleaning and love. This is tools that I will use, some I might sell off as I don’t need all but most will stay for use. To start this series I’ll post some pictures of some of my tools that will be cared for in the future. Some Hira-ganna. Some special ganna. More ganna, some special some with long dai, some small Some more, hira-...
Contractor Saw Refurbishing #1: Good news: I got it home. Bad news: Now I have to do something with it!
I found an old, well-worn Jet contractor saw locally through Craigslist. It came with a Delta Unifence, so even with some replacement parts and repairs factored in, I got it for a steal at $175. It was quite a job to horse it home by myself, but with the help of an appliance dolly I managed to get it out of its old basement and into my basement. I thought it might be fun for someone if I occasionally post updates here. And I certainly welcome all the tips and suggestions that anyone mig...
Well, the last time I saw fit to do the blog thing (you can tell I’m not a big blogger…just check back) was because I decided to see which was tougher, my thumb or my table saw blade. Now, granted, it’s only an old 10ER shopsmith, but it was still tougher than my thumb. In fact, it wasn’t even a fair fight.Now I’m back, a mere 119 days later to blog my little buns off.It seems that the only time I have anything to say, it’s when I hurt myself. Oh well, man...
Many of you probably cut dovetails with power tools & jigs —and so do I. But for some projects, I really prefer cutting them by hand and I never tire of learning how to do it better. That’s what took me on one of my recent video “treks” (journeys), where I filmed the segment I’ve posted here — this time to the shop of master cabinetmaker Craig Vandall Stevens. In this two-part series, Craig (who studied under James Krenov) uses only a saw, chisel, and several sh...
Because my table saw has one of those thin metal blade inserts, I’ve been thinking for quite a while how to make a zero clearance insert for my saw. I cut quite a few small or thin items and often, as might be expected, the thin cuttings fall down the slot between the insert and the blade. Only once did this actually result in something a bit startling, but I wanted to remedy the situation in any case. At one time, I tried making a ZCI by dadoeing around a hunk of wood so that ...
I have been in desperate need of a better way to hold my saws for sharpening. My old setup( two sticks of wood ~26 inches long which I would clamp onto saw plate and my vise) was simply not cutting it (sawing pun intended). I thought about purchasing vintage, but everyone always complained of bad vibrations, they are overpriced at antique shops, and I didn’t want to reposition my saw 4 times for full sized handsaws. I really liked Andy’s (Brit) design. It was economical, sturdy...
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