|Project by MichaelT77||posted 02-06-2014 06:22 PM||2312 views||1 time favorited||10 comments|
This requires some explanation. Otherwise, it may just be seen as a violation of the lumberjocks’ code.
Many years ago (I think my children were in elementary school at the time), I found a big wooden plane at a flea market. I think I paid $5 or $10 for it, and even as a novice woodworker I saw it as a real treasure. The plane iron had been rusting since the 50’s (probably the 1850’s), but I was going to bring it back to functional glory. I put it on a shelf in my basement.
Now, I’m a grandfather ( X 3 ), and I like to think I’ve moved to the intermediate level of woodworking (at least in my aspirations). I have, however, in the past couple months, experienced three fairly serious table saw accidents (all kickbacks). Carelessness, or momentary lapses of concentration, I suppose. In each case, I knew in an instant what I had done incorrectly. Unfortunately, table saw accidents occur in only half an instant. I’m OK, but in each case, I drove alternate bloody hands to the ER for multiple sutures. We’re all on a first-name basis, now. Of course, after each accident, I told myself, “I’ll never do THAT again.”
So, this past weekend, I conducted a big safety standdown. I spent much of the weekend cleaning up the debris I trip over, and building sleds and push blocks. I bought and installed a new blade after being told by someone I trust that I was using the wrong kind of blade for the type of cuts I was making. I watched a couple videos on Youtube. In one, there was a sign on the wall of someone’s shop. It read “A clean shop is a safe shop.” While I don’t believe that that is necessarily true, it doesn’t hurt.
Back to the old wooden plane. I was never going to get around to restoring it, and I don’t think it would have been worth the effort. It had a few cracks in it, and really wasn’t even square or flat. I was going to toss it in the trash, but decided to make use of its size and weight. So, I squared it up on the jointer, and added a couple of handles. I sliced a piece off the forecastle, and glued it back on as shown. Now, the old plane is a big push block. Even though it only has the thin piece of wood on one side holding it together, it’s stiff. I may put a piece of wood on the top to span the opening. When I drilled the first hole for the closet rod handles, I grabbed the wrong Forstner bit (“Oh, I meant to use the one next to it.”) I’ll probably just use this push block for the jointer.
Now that I see it in pictures, I’m thinking I should add two more stacks and paint the hull red.
“Bridge, forward lookout. There’s a push block off the starboard bow.”
Be careful out there.
-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA