Thursday, November 16, 2017

Wood Stock Smoothing Planes

I have a fairly complete collection of both wood stock and metal body planes in the plane till, on the shelfs behind the main bench, and stuck wherever I can find room around the shop. Truth is you only need three bench planes, the rest are just a sickness.

While I like the metal body planes for the "middle" functions, most of the time for stock prep I will reach for a wood stock plane for no other reason than they are lighter and easier to use. For smoothing I tend to go back and forth with each type of plane getting about the same amount of use.

It is shaping where the small wood stock planes really shine. One of my favorite planes for shaping, for planing chamfers or round overs and such, is the little shop made Krenov style plane on the right side of the photo. It's not much good as a smoothing plane but for shaping it can't be beat by any metal body plane.


On the far left is a "Philly" single iron smoother, next to it is a Steve Voigt double iron smoother. Steve, as far as I know, is the only maker currently making double iron wood stock planes. I have three of his planes. They are a joy to use and are a bargain with reasonably short wait times.  Next to Steve's plane is a double iron ECE, I'm not sure if ECE still makes this plane but if you can find one it is a steal at any price, if you do not want it email me. In the middle is a ECE single iron, I believe it is sold as a "Gents" plane, whatever it is a wonderful, light, nimble, plane to use on wood that does not need a double iron.

Today I used the ECE double iron to flush some pegs and final smoothing of the Sapele legs and the shop made plane to do some shaping to hide a couple of whopsies on MsBubba's small table. Without the shop made plane I'm not sure that the table's base would not have ended up in the burn pile.

ken

Friday, November 10, 2017

Controlling Tearout

I'm in the short rows on the boy child's table. It is ready for glue up in the AM. that and a little oil and the sucker will be out of the shop.

Getting the legs ready for glue up was a PITA because they are Sapele. I don't know if you have worked with Sapele, once finished it is beautiful but it is very difficult to work with hand tools, getting to ready for finishing isn't easy. The problem is it is soft and has stripes of reversing grain which of course leads to tearout even when using the sharpest cutters unless the cap iron is set to control the tearout. With an improper set up plane the tearout can be so deep and severe a scrapper is almost worthless. The best approach is two part, setting the cap iron correctly to control the tearout then follow with light scrapping if needed.  Many times just correct setting of the cap iron will be all that is needed. Here is a photo of one of the Sapele legs after using a #5 Jack to shape the leg. I think you can see how deep the tearout is if you click the image to enlarge it.


To control tearout with the cap iron it, the cap iron, needs to be set back just slightly greater than the desired thickness of the shavings. It is pretty damn close to the cutting edge, in other words when set correctly you should just be able to see a very thin reflection of light off the cutter. 

Here is a photo of the leg after smoothing with a #4 with the cap iron set to control tearout. A scrapper is on the bench but I do not think it was used. Again click it to big it.


The aprons are SA Walnut which is also very soft but doesn't have the tearout problems of Sapele, it's just very light and easy to bruise and dent. I had the overhead fan on in the shop and I turned to go into the tool room, when I returned I thought I saw a Butterfly land on the floor, it turned out to be a SA Walnut shaving the fan had picked up from the bench and it flew for a bit.

It was a good day in the shop,

ken 

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Marking Knifes

Ralph over at The Accentual Woodworker has inspired another post, seems he does that often. My guess is because he posts so much it is hard not to find something of interest in his blog.

Today he mentioned marking knifes. That made me think about the knifes I have vs. the knife I use. Below is a photo of some of 'em.


There are spear point, single point, single bevel, double bevel, Japanese, and Western knifes in the pile. Most at one time or another were my go to marking knife. Same old story, you need to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince. Today the one I use is the cheapest of the bunch, a Stanley #10-049 with a 11-041 replacement blade.

I first noticed the Stanley knife in one of Paul Sellers videos and thought I'd give it a go. Mostly because of my marking knifes all were OK but also all had a "yes but" factor.  With the Stanley knife it was bonding at first mark, I've found no down sides to the knife. Blades can be sharpened and they hold an edge well but the blades are so cheap I will usually just replace (IIRC <$4.00 USD each). Blades are quick and easy to replace and the blade lock works easy and well. Some folks might balk at the double bevel, to each their own, but folks it is wood you are marking. Need I say more?

You can't see it in the photo but for this post I made marks with each of the knifes on the piece of Pine under the knifes. Along side each I also marked with the Stanley. In every case the Stanley mark was cleaner and I could see no difference in placement of the mark. The double bevel at least for me is a non-issue. Quality of the mark is and the Stanley was clearly better.

Another factor, the Stanley knife is so cheap I buy 'em by the bunch and have 'em all over the shop. I seldom need to hunt for a marking knife because if I look down there is usually one there.

As always with anything wood, YMMV.

ken

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Small Table

MsBubba made a mosaic for the boy child about a year ago, maybe longer. She has been on my case to make a small table to hold the mosaic for at least that long. I've run out of excuses and it has been either make a table or finish up painting the house trim and take care of the cancer on the shop trim so the front of the house can be painted. You can guess which I'm doing.

It is a small side table that will live on his patio in Houston. I don't expect it will be passed on to the grandkid's grandkids. Whatever, I'm making it as WX proof as I can, which isn't much other than using pegs and Titebond III with "Outdoor oil" for the finish.

The base/table top for the mosaic tiles is 19mmBaltic Birch trimmed with Cherry. The tables base has Sapele legs and SA Walnut for aprons.

It is one of those projects you can sleep walk through, not a lot of butt scratching involved but it is good to be back in the shop making something.



The top is just sitting on the legs so I can check the thickness of the apron, ended up going with 70mm. Any wider and it looked really clunky.

If I work really slowly chopping the mortises and sawing the tenons I may be able to stretch it out for another day. I hope so, cutting cancer out and repairing the damage is not my idea of fun. It has to be done but I need to get on down the road a couple of weeks first.

One more thing, I don't do a lot of mitered joints and I had forgotten how sweet the Incra 1000 miter gauge works. Get it close then just a couple of adjustments and test cuts and your 45 is nailed. I had the 45 shooting board set up and didn't need it.

ken



Saturday, November 04, 2017

Fixed The Garden Bench

I guess close to eight years ago when we were looking to buy a house in Tucson we pulled up in front of what is now our current house. The front garden looked OK but the house was the ugliest coral color you have ever seen. BTW, I've kept the mailbox the same color just to remind me of what it looked like. I had to be talked into going inside. The inside wasn't much better, the owner had put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and it was clean but with 'popcorn ceilings and bad carpet throughout. The worst part was the cabinetry, all fiber board with pictures of wood on the outside from the early 70's. I almost walked out before going into the back garden.

The back garden was nice with a pool that was much like an infinity pool looking out over a large wash and with a view of the Tucsons to the West and the Catalinas to the North and with total privacy, Ok this is better but... Then MsBubba went down the stairs to the bottom of the property and there was a broken down garden bench for her to sit on. I followed a little later and when I saw her face I knew I was in for years of painting, removing popcorn, pulling out carpet, and making cabinets. Also repairing the broken down garden bench.

All of that has been done except repairing the broken down garden bench, in fact a couple of days ago we re-painted the back half of the first re-paint, the front half will be done this coming Spring.

Yesterday I finally got around to the garden bench. What I originally thought would be a couple hour project turned into a two day affair with several trips to Ace for hardware  and each slat was different and had to be fitted, the only common thing was the length.

Anyway here are some photos, first the repaired bench that started it all:


Looking up the stairs from the sitting area. If you click 'em to big 'em and you look carefully you may be able to see Sam looking down the stairs.



A couple of plastic chairs in the sitting area.


The view across the wash.


And the Tucsons to the West. We are less than five miles from downtown Tucson and two miles from I-10 yet at the bottom of the wash it is peaceful and quiet with birds, rabbits, deer, coyotes, bobcats, and javelina to keep us entertained plus the occasional rattlesnake and of course packrats .


Only eight or so years to finish what was the first known project, no one ever said I was fast.

ken


Thursday, November 02, 2017

Wood Pile Moved

What a PITA but whatever the wood pile has been cleaned out and good wood moved to its new home and scrap wood moved to outside storage while it waits burning.  The next question is, can I hold myself to no scrap wood or cutoffs inside the shop. That's the question.

You can't see it in the photo but with the wood storage change it has allowed the table saw to be moved almost two feet to the left and the planer moved a foot to the left opening up each to better usability.  Sometimes, not often, moving stuff can make the ten pounds in a 5 pound bag change to nine pounds.


In addition to humping wood around, MsBubba and I painted the back half of the house day before yesterday. I have a pro grade airless which takes the pain out of applying paint but the the rest of it, all that goes with using the airless is where the real work is. We will do the front half this coming Spring. After that never again, I'm hiring it done.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Moving Wood

I'm in the process of moving my wood pile. Most of the wood will go outside and will be covered with tin roofing panels. This has been coming for awhile, my "good" lumber is always covered with cutoffs and when it comes time to find wood for a project it can't be accessed. I will end up going to the wood store buying lumber for the project and as I make cutoffs they are piled on top of the wood pile. It is a never ending process. The good lumber keeps getting buried deeper and deeper under good wood cutoffs that are usually too small to use.

The plan is to have three wall shelfs and rid the floor of lumber giving room for the Mini-lathe to fit under the bottom shelf, Anything that does not fit the shelfs goes outside.


The bottom shelf will move up enough to fit the lathe under it and I expect there may be a vertical stack of the large and heavy lumber against the wall. Most of what is stacked around the shop and the covering cutoffs of the floor pile will go outside.

What ever, once the pile is worked down only special wood will be stored inside the shop and I will go to the wood store for project wood. My shop isn't big enough to have wood storage and machines, one has to go.

BTW, it is interesting what you find when moving the pile. One find is a 8/4 X 6"X5' hunk of Ebony. I can't remember what or why I bought it, anyway it sure is pretty and I expect cost a bit of change.

ken