Expectations. We all have them when we walk into the shop. Ah yes, I have come to spend a pleasant relaxing day at the bench undisturbed, unperturbed. Then you begin work. Things can go wrong. Jigs don’t work, parts mis-align as the glue holds fast in the wrong spot, wood tears out, screw heads break off, and finishes blotch. Lest it be misunderstood that I am somehow above the fray here, that nothing ever goes wrong for me, that I am the calm sea in the eye of every storm at my bench, ...
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...
Yesterday’s lengthy (3 hour) appointment with my good friend and client yielded a surprised tip at the end of the session: Top - Bottom - I had shown interest in it when I first looked at her stash of vintage tools. I opted for my other choices mainly because I didn’t know if I would have cause to use this. At any rate, I’m happy to be its new owner and will clean this up and sharpen the blade for use. I would like to know who made this tool. The only marking I c...
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...
The Christmas paper is all gone and the tree is down and stowed. Now is the New Year and it is time to replace talk the talk with walk the walk. I have been slowly expanding my tool collection in the last couple years and this Christmas rounded out my collection for a half dozen projects I have been wanting to try. First on the list is a bar that I have drawn up plans for from a set I saw online. While I decided curves and bending wood was out of my class, I plan some ornate routing to make i...
I got two gift cards in my Christmas Loot this year. They were for two different stores, but things worked out. Lately I’ve been thinking as I do things around my shop. When I make sparks while grinding a bolt I wonder if they might somehow start a fire in the sawdust. I’ve wanted a second pair of safety glasses so I won’t have to hunt down the one I set down. My ear plugs are starting to look dirty. So I took the cards and bought some safety gear for the shop. I got ...
I posted a while back about my 14” bandsaw from Porter Cable. It has been a great addition to the shop, but I just could not stop wondering why there was not a work light built into the saw. Other band saws have them, and other Porter Cable products have a work light, so they clearly have the parts available to make it happen. So I decided to resolve this once and for all, and ordered a replacement lamp fixture for a PC bench grinder and then wire it into my my band saw so it would not ...
BufferConverting a cheap grinder into a buffer I usually use a electric drill with a buffer attached when I have buff, this is actually working fine, but I have for years dreamed of a bench version, just thought they were too expensive or cheap and with no power… I had one of these, that ended up never used after I got a water grinder and a disc sander.So a conversion was obvious.I bought the spindles on E-bay for next to nothing, one left and one right twisted, split the machine ...
I am about to redo part of my work shop. I currently have a pegboard system for hanging my tools. Ive seen alot of things showing that some people like using French Cleat systems. Has anyone used that type of system and recommend French Cleats? Anybody like one of the other?
I was out in my garage the other day and went to start a project. Reaching into my toolbox and retrieving a hand plane the first thing I noticed was that it was rusting. Agian! I had just cleaned the rust off of all my planes a little over a month ago and already they were showing signs of new rust. There is nothing more frustrating than spending my free time cleaning rust off of my tools over and over again. I need to find a better way to protect my tools. I already keep them stored in a ...
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