Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Loupe

Woodcraft had a box of POS loupes out the other day. I'm a sucker for POS items because they are usually cheap and sometimes useful....many times a solution looking for a problem but what the heck, as I said I'm a sucker for 'em.

These loupes had LED lights for each lens and was marked 30X22mm and 60X12mm. I'm not sure if it is because of the LED lights or good optics but even the 60X12mm lens is useable. That isn't often the case.

I used the loupe, both lens, to check the bevel and back of a couple chisels I sharpened the evening before surgery. One chisel was a 18mm #1 White steel oire nomi, the other was a 1/2" Ashley Iles HC Steel traditional Western chisel. Both had the bevel set on Atoma diamond plates, then cleaned up on a JNat Tsushima Nagura and finished on a hard Aiiwatani Kiita.

When finished both the bevels and backs of the chisels showed a nice polished hazy finish (Kasumi finish) to the eye with the Japanese chisel showing good clean contrast between the Ha and Ji. Looking at the chisels with the loupe reviled the "why" of the hazy polished finish. Both bevel and back were free of linear polished scratches but displayed a very fine semi-matt finish and a beautiful smooth cutting edge with no nasty bits refracting light.

JNats may be slightly slower than the fastest synthetic water stones but to my eye the finish is much better and the stones need less maintenance. The only down side is the likely high entry cost and the development of JNatitis. A difficult and sometimes very expensive disease to cure.

Monday, July 11, 2016

One Armed

I expect this will be a short mistake filled post. I had rotator cuff repair this morning on my right shoulder. So I'm typing one handed with the non-dominant hand. It is slow and sure as hell not pretty.

So-san, Japan Tool, and I are still working on a JNat order. It will be between 1 and 3 stones, how's that for being decisive. I have a great super hard and fine finish stone, what I'm looking for is one or two, maybe three midders, stones that will clean up grinding marks quickly and will leave a finish that is fine enough for 95+% of day to day joinery. More on buying and using JNats as I go though recovery over the next few weeks, one thing is sure I'll have plenty of time.

MsBubba has to work tomorrow, if and it is a big if, my PTSD doesn't have me eating a pistol or playing chicken with I-10 18 wheelers before morning and/or MsBubba takes pity and kindness to a level she is not known for, I'll see you guys on down the road.

One last thing, the insurance guy and I should exchange Goldwing title for a check sometime this week.

Saturday, July 02, 2016


The electro-conversion went well and I'm back in a normal rhythm. I posted earlier that I planed to have the right rotator cuff repaired in October. After several days of increasing problems sleeping and using my right arm I booked the procedure for the morning of 07/11/2016.

I expect few things will be done of blogging interest for the next month or three. Shop time will be limited to one arm jobs such as sitting on a shop stool with tea or whisky and looking at all the tools. At least I have some tools to enjoy. BTW I've emailed So with a request for a Okudo or Shinden Suita JNat. Anyway I'll have something to look forward to.

Speaking of JNats and sharpening Brian Holcombe  has a very good Blog and currently has an excellent post on sharpening with JNats vs. synthetic water stones. Check out both his Blog and current JNat post, both are worth the time.

See you guys on down the road,


Tuesday, June 21, 2016


There is nothing as boring as an Old Fart talking about his/her medical condition. But this Blog is also my journal so today I will do a short post on current and upcoming medical issues. No response or even others reading is expected, the post is so I have a memo to self.

I've been in AFib for the last three weeks, with pulse running steady at 100 bpm plus or minus about 10 bpm. BP has been inverse to pulse rate. I'm booked for an electroconversion Thursday. Still some debate if I will go through with it but whatever I've got to get back to a sinus rhythm.  For the last three weeks any activity kicks my ass. I ain't gonna live that way.

In addition a month or so ago I tore a biceps tenon in my right arm which in turn has aggravated the torn rotor cuff. Bottom line, once back from vacation (first of September) I'm going to face up to rotor cuff repair. I expect recovery will be six months to a year, during recovery I suspect I may turn sinister or at least learn to do a few things left handed.

There are not going to be many big projects in the near future. I expect most of my shop time will be sitting on the shop stool with a whisky or tea and looking at my tools. Once recovery is under way maybe doing some rust hunting and refurb.


I was working and missed posting about Juneteenth. June 19th aka Juneteenth is one of the most important but largely forgotten dates of USA history. On June 19th 1865 General Granger landed on Galveston, Texas with the news the war had ended and all men were free. For the first time in US history we started, with many missteps, to live up to the Declaration of Independence.

In a just and sane world June 19th would rank alongside July 4th.

I hope you'll had a wonderful Juneteenth.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Motorcycle Update

I went by the motorcycle shop today to check on the status of the insurance on my 'Wing.  Not much has changed, their adjuster hasn't done anything at this time so my settlement is still on hold. They did mention they would make me a good deal on one of their used stock 'Wings.  I'm not too interested in another 'Wing, they are great bikes but my riding needs, if I have any, have changed. But during the conversation I mentioned that a couple of years ago I had tried to buy back the Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 LT I had traded in on the 'Wing they just burned to the ground and wondered if they still had the V2K.

To my surprise it was stored in a back room, dusty but still all there. I'm not saying I'm going to re-buy it but.....Damn I loved that bike much more than I ever did the 'Wing. The 'Wing is/was a wonderful tool, one of the best Iron Butt bikes ever made but it has no soul. The V2K on the other hand is nothing but soul, shiny in chrome and paint, with two coffee can pistons throbbing between your legs as you feel direct contact with the world and machine around you. Like I said, damn I loved that bike.

A few photos of her:

MsBubba on the V2K in a gas station Winkelman, AZ as I rode the V2K home from the dealer. I must say she wasn't real happy with me at the time. Like most women, too practical. Her question was: "Why do you need another bike, the one you have is perfectly good." Of course there is never a good answer to that question.  Later when she saw the 'Wing for the first time she said "Take that ugly thing back, I want my beautiful bike back."

A glamor shot near Gate's Pass:


A younger and thiner OKGuy near Winkelman, AZ:

Crossing the bridge at Lake Roosevelt, AZ:

Stop light in Globe, AZ:

One last photo, camping in the White Mountains:

There was one through the windscreen with the speedo over 100mph but No need to bore you more :-).


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

LN Replacement Iron Update

I've only the LN #8 left for iron replacement. I expect it will be done sometime but there ain't no hurry because it seldom comes off the wall. If I had a working brain cell it, the #8, would have been gone long ago. Metal jointers are just too big and heavy, after 15 or 20 minutes of slinging that sucker around the shop my body is crying no mas no mas where with one of my wood jointers I can work long enough to get something done and still function the next day.

Sorry for the digression, sometimes the fingers have a mind of their own. It is a pretty simple fix to route out the depth adjustment hole on the cap iron. I used a Drimel with a diamond bit taking just a small amount off before test fits. On most of the cap irons the fit was good after two or three tries.

I've worked the planes with the new irons and modified chip breakers and the feel is the same as a unmodified plane with LN iron. No more backlash than before, if you have LN planes and want to use other irons it is worth the trouble.

Here is a staged photo of my set up:


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Lie-Nielsen A-2 Plane Irons

A couple of years ago Lie-Nielsen stopped production of O-1 tools. I can understand from a bottom line standpoint but....There is that damn but again....Some of us really do not like to use A-2 cutters. I like the LN planes, they are very well made if a little heavy, I can live with heavy. Living with A-2 cutters, not so much.

So of course Hock and Lee Valley come to mind, they both make very good O-1and LV makes PM-11 irons as well, there is just one tiny problem. Both Hock and LV plane irons are just a silly mm thinner than LN's irons. That difference keeps either from mating with the LN frog. The LN depth adjuster has a steep slope and to mate with the cap iron requires a cutter of LN's thickness, other wise it will not let the cutter/chip breaker mate with the frog.

I've gone back and forth, sell all my LN planes but I like 'em except for the irons. Live with A-2 cutters, OK I've tried....It's like a bad marriage, you can make it work but is it worth the effort. What to do, what to do. I've had a Clifton iron on back order for months now (Its specs show it is the same thickness as the LN) but so for no joy.

I finally did a little red neck engineering and enlarged the depth adjustment slot on a Hock chip breaker and installed a LV O-1 iron with the modded Hock chip breaker in the LN #4. It works, the iron/chip breaker mate with the frog and there is little "slop" in the depth adjuster.

I'll live with the mod for a few weeks and if there are no problems the rest of the LN's will get the same adjustment.