Shop journal #1: Kind of a mixed day

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Blog entry by Ron Harper posted 02-28-2013 03:29 AM 1349 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop journal series Part 2: Two small projects completed yesterday »

I am getting more and more pleased with my switch to hand tool woodworking all the time. Please understand, I am not trying to tell you how to work wood. If you choose to make furniture with a chain saw and a blow torch, it is perfectly alright with me. You were nice enough to check in on me so it would be more than a little inhospitable of me to try to convince you to change your ways. But I have lots of reasons that make this the way to go for me.

One of the challenges is that I have taken a step backwards in my ability to produce beautiful work in a reasonable amount of time. That is because there are several skills that I need to significantly improve. While I am working on that there are fits and starts as some pieces get thrown into the scrap bin and have to be redone. That is OK. I expected it. I am happy to report that I see real encouraging signs of growth.

Had a frustrating but funny incident today. I made a very careful knife wall in a piece of cherry today, deepened the wall with a chisel? I then took my Independence tool crosscut saw and very gently stroked back and forth against the knife wall. The cut was going very well and soon I was through the 3/4 cherry. I knew it was a good cut. I grabbed my 6 in combination square. The cut was perfectly plumb and square. Excited. Because this is one of those skills I have been working on. One problem. The cut was supposed to be defining a tenon shoulder and not all the way through the stock. I felt like a total idiot…then I had to laugh.

I am making this clock in cherry as part of my work in Paul Sellers on line classes. I had cut and planed all my stock, so I had to go over to the cutoff bin get some cherry, rip it ti size, plane it, groove it and layout the tenons again. Who has more fun than woodworkers. I hope I won’t do that again, but it was a perfect saw cut. :). I have the joinery done. Next time in the shop I will cut the raised panel with my Stanley 4 and put some beads on with my Windsor Beader reproduction by Kansas City Tool Works. Boy is that a nice tool

If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by. I make good coffee and I would love to see you

-- Ron in Kokomo

1 comment so far

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15881 posts in 3357 days

#1 posted 02-28-2013 05:57 PM

It is plain to see that you are having a good time with your hand tools Ron. It’s easy to understand. When I consider my output of projects made with power tools the last few years I would find it hard (read impossible) to justify all the money I used to buy them with. Never mind, I just charge it against my happiness account, but I do agree that few hand tools are needed to do some pretty impressive projects and they are relatively quiet and dust free too. Keep up the good work!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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