Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Heads Up

I don't open/look at my banking account often, mostly just once or twice a month to schedule paying my bills. Because I'm expecting a reasonably sized deposit and I had a couple of minutes with nothing to do I opened the Bank account to see if the deposit had been made. It hadn't but there was an interesting debit from a California Harbor Freight for $272 USD and change at the top of the statement. First problem: I'm in Tucson, second problem; I don't buy crap from Harbor Freight.

I called the bank, fast response, no permahold and they put a stop on my Debit card and started the process of issuing a new one. All that is neat and good but here is the kicker: they can/will do nothing about the charge until it finishes processing, it other words the money is taken from my account. That sucks, not so much because I will lose $272 USD during the dispute phase but the fact that it has to go through the dispute phase before it is returned. In addition it requires another phone call to the bank in a couple of days when the withdrawal has cleared to dispute the withdrawal.

Here is the bottom line: I will never use a Debit card again. While that doesn't eliminate the chance of the card being hacked it will or should decrease the odds of it being hacked. From now on I will use a credit card for all the things I've used Debit cards for up to this time. With a credit card if it gets hacked, the charge or charges are removed and that is the end of the story plus there is a very active watch by the bank for fraud.  As a side benefit there are miles/cash back on credit cards that are not on Debit cards. I should have done this long ago.

Be careful out there, hear and check your bank statement often.


Monday, August 08, 2016

Slowly Returning to the Shop

I still can't really do anything of substance in the shop but I did a little re-arranging of the sharpening bench and cabinet and the real biggie....Cleaned up and oiled the RV's wood sink cover/cutting board. Hey, it's a start.

The sharpening bench: On the left is set up for JNats and other waterstones and the right end for sandpaper and oil stones. The overhead cabinet holds the stones and most of the other "stuff" needed for sharpening.

This one is real excitement, the RV's sanded and oiled sink cover/cutting board.

And last, a chair MsBubba rescued and wanted me to "fix". After much butt scratching I decided to screw slats to the frame. One down, four to go.

As posted, it's a start.

Received an email from David Savage this morning posting about something I've long said: Shiny is not necessarily sharp.

Part of his email:

Ohhh! This is going to be bad.

You know more tosh has been written about sharpening woodworking tools than a grown man can tolerate. But I shall proceed, but only if you are sitting comfortably.

There is a convention that sharpness is the product of two polished surfaces brought together at a suitable angle usually somewhere between 25 degrees and 30 degrees. Pedants may disagree, but I do not give a hoot.

Polished surfaces are generated by using a course abrasive, then a a grade finer, then a grade finer. The objective of each stage being, to remove the scratches of the previous layer. O K, so a shine in this context would the objective, yes? The more scratches removed, the more polished and shinier the surface would become??? I have used a shiny surface to a chisel back or plane blade back as a sign that I have done a good job for years.

Apparently this is just not so. Look at the image below this is a surface created with an 8000 grit Japanese Water stone. this is the kind of polishing stone I and many other Western Woodies have been using for years. they are fast to cut relatively cheap and they give this great result.
So whats the problem? Well look at the second image below. This is the same tool polished with a NATURAL Japanese abrasive stone. The scratches are finer that is clear. What is confusing and counter intuitive is that the surface is NOT so shiny.
Tomohito-San who has been my guide on this has been trying to convince me that shiny is not automatically sharp and this is his proof. I have been using a couple of natural stones on plane blades for a while and can report a real difference in performance. They cost a lot more than man made water stones. My stone was about £300 and I only use it in specific situations where I need a surface from the Tool..."


Thursday, August 04, 2016

More RV Photos

Some more photos of the RV:

We will leave for the PNW on the 17th and be back in Tucson after Labor Day. I hope by that time I can return to the shop.


New RV

A '08 Domani followed me home this AM. I spent most of the trip to Houston looking for a 30' or less 5th Wheel that flipped all the buttons with no joy. First day back in Tucson I found this one and it without a doubt did all my buttons.

The inside is almost as nice as a custom aircraft or boat completion.  Anyway it's just in time for the Oregon trip, I'll load most of the stuff out of the old RV back into this one and try to find time for a short shakedown run before the 17th.

Here are a couple of photos of the outside, inside photos to follow:

One more, remember to big 'em, click 'em.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Three Stones

It is a sickness I know but.....I've three new stones on the bench and one more "in the mail." Two of the stones are JNats and the other is a Norton Hard Ark.

The two JNats are Suita's from different mines and both can be considered 95% finishing stones. The only reason to go to a finer stone is trying for ultimate sharpness that is usually not needed for day to day work. The one in the mail is also a Suita but courser and will be used as a setup stone.

The Norton, what can I say but wow. I went against Doctor's orders and tried it on a O-1 western iron. The chisel was set up with a med India then honed on the Hard Ark followed by stropping. I couldn't believe how quickly I had a very sharp and usable iron. The Norton Hard Ark is not cheap for a Ark stone but damn Bubba it is fast and leaves an edge that just needs a little stropping. My new recommendation for any one just starting out is just that combination. For just a little over $200 USD you would have a lifetime sharpening set up. The only kicker is the Hard Ark must be from Norton, I've other Hard Ark stones and they are no where near as fast.

More once I've two arms to work with.

From left to right, Norton Hard Ark, Nakayama Suita, Shinden Suita.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


There will be little woodworking for the next three months. I had my first post-op visit and PT today. The good/bad routine was the surgery looks good but for four more weeks I'm not to use the arm, all movement must be assisted movement. Maybe after the four weeks I will be able to do light work with the right arm. It is going to be a boring four weeks, it has only been two weeks post-op and I'm climbing out of my skin, four more and I'll be postal.

MsBubba and I did manage to go to Houston last week. After a few days I'd had enough and the dogs and I did the 17 hour trek home. It is a long day....hard to believe but the trip, Houston to Tucson, is a perfect Saddlesore 1000 (1078 miles by I-10 TBMRITUS) and I would think nothing of throwing a leg over the bike for one of those. The SS1000 was an easy ride, entry level for LD Riders.

One other small change: I almost drove a diesel pusher home from Houston, had my name on the contract but .....After thinking about it I decided to stay with 5th wheels and as luck would have it the first day back in Tucson I found the perfect 5th wheel, a Carriage Domani DF300 with all the bells and whistles. Anyway I'll pick it up next Tuesday and I expect I'll make a test run down to Rocky Point, MX to make sure everything is working before the Oregon trip.

A couple of things woodworking or at least sharpening: Two of the three JNats on order from So-san arrived, there is still one to go and the Hard Ark from Norton also came the other day. I'll have much more on the Norton Hard Ark later but as a teaser; I could see it with a medium India and a strop being a goto system.

See you guys on down the road,


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.