I had my first full day in the shop yesterday in over a week. Most of you know that my health sometimes slows me down. However, when I’m back at it, I get back at it at full speed ahead.
I don’t have a project necessarily, so I thought I’d type up this blog and tell what I have done the last few days.
First of all, after swearing them off for what seemed like forever, I finally broke down and bought a hand plane at an estate sale a while back. I swore it was just going to be the one, just to say I owned one really.
Well, the reason I swore them off in the past was because they hurt my back to bad to use. Since then though, I have learned a little more about sharpening techniques. So, after I sharpened that one plane I bought to the point I could have shaved with it, it was a pleasure to use.
I’ll bet some of you hand plane junkies here already have an idea where this is heading.
Right to left: #1. A Buck Bros. #5 I found at a flea market for five bucks. I have heard these planes are junk, but hey, I’m just starting in them. After cleaning up and sharpening though, it does a nice job based on my limited experience. #2. I have no idea. I have found no markings on it besides a spot under the frog that says it’s made in Indonesia. Other than that, I do know it i finicky as hell. It cuts good, but you just about have to tighten the blade down with a screwdriver. Setting the screw to where you can use the thumb lever allows the blade to move every time. I only paid two bucks for it though. #3. From the information I have found so far this is a Sargent. The only other markings I foundis the numbers “409” under the frog. This is an excellent cutting plane. #4. A Dunlap. This was the plane I started with a while back that I picked up at an estate sale for a buck. #5.
And #6. Two Windsor #33s. These two planes my wife bought me. I had been talking about them ever since I seen Stumpy Nub’s video on them about turning them into scrub planes. She caught them on sale for eight bucks and bought me two of them. After sharpening them and testing them out, I’m not sure I’m going to go the Stumpy route on these. I love them just the way they are. #7. I don’ even know what you call these little planes. It does a good job. It is stamped “Made In The USA”. I don’t like them though. I have large hands and arthritis in them. It is very uncomfortable to me to hold these. #8, #9, and #10. These are what I call my mini planes. I’m not sure what the proper name for them are. I bought these at Harbour Freight a long time ago. After getting to enjoying these lately I hunted them down in all my junk and cleaned them up though. They do a good job I guess for what they are.
It is not an addiction though. I just like them.
And, for my buddy SuperD, the photo is taken with them all nestled all pretty like on top of some of the shavings I made playing with them as I was sharpening irons.
Next up is my new clamp rack. I done this one just for the sake of doing it. Most of my clamps I’ve always kept standing in a corner. I decided to build this onto my table to hold them all in one place so I could easily get to them without all the falling clamps like I’ve been getting from the stand in the corner method.
I had built something like this once before, way back when. The weight of the clamps tore the corners loose though.
I didn’t have the Stumpy Nubs box joint machine then though.
With these quarter inch box joints, this rack is much more sturdier than the one I had before. I think it’ll last pretty good. We will see.
And moving on…...
I admire all the fancy smancy workbenches I see people building. They are absolutely beautiful. I don’t want one though. I’ve always liked my table with the particle board screwed done to it. I like it for the plain reason that I don’t care what happens to it. I can destroy it working on it and the worst case scenerio is that I have to find another table on the side of the road to make another work bench out of. I paint on it, write measurements on it, pound on it. I even bolt things to it if needed. If the top layer of particle board gets in too bad of shape, I just throw on a new layer, put some screws in it, and keep on going.
I did want some improvements though.
So recently I threw together some shelves under it.
Then I wanted me an end vice on it. I couldn’t find a commercially available one that would cover the end of my four foot wide table though. If I had, I couldn’t afford it. Let me make this clear. I am broke. I am so broke right not that if the steam boat was nickel a ride, I’d have to run up and down the bank singing aint that nice. So I had to get around this little problem with things I had available.
My shop made, four foot, twin screw, pipe clamp, end vice.
I made a wedge system under the table to accomodate sliding the pipes out to near the depth I want without having to have help holding the releases on each side.
This consists of a block of wood that is slotted to be moveable, while still being held under the table. A half inch behind that, there is another block that is immobile. There is a wedge that is also slotted and held under the table that wedges between those two blocks, pushing the release.
To pull it out, you just hit the wedge on each side of the table with your hand and pull it out far enough to put your work piece in.
It comes out far enough to accomodate a five foot wide work piece. So it will definately hold anything I’ll ever need it too.
The pipes go through holes under the table to prevent sag when pulled way out. I had runners under the particle board that I ran holes through to allow this. The table is plenty heavy enough to hold up the vice’s weight plus anything you wish to put in the vice.
Pull your wedges out, push the vice plate against your workpiece, and tighten up. Then you’re good to go.
Oh, if anyone notices the extra holes cut in the outer vice plate, they are there for a reason. I put them there as conversation points. I did not measure wrong and cut holes in the wrong place.