Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It's the Little Things

Robert Earl Keen is a Texas singer/song writer, one of his songs has a line "It's the little things that piss me off". That line pretty much applies to many things in life but especially to woodworking.

I've been rebuilding my small box stock over the Solstice break. When you do a few in a row normally each one will get a little better and that has been the case with the box builds. The dovetails get a little cleaner, the top and base fit a little better, even the finish tends to look better with each new box.

Of course there has to be a yes but. Yesterday I started the last of the current set of boxes. I was feeling pretty cocky, The joints had been really nice on the last couple of boxes with good fit right off the saw and needing very little chisel work. I figured as this was the last of a series I would go all out to make it as perfect as I could.....As always wrong Bubba. I did really pay extra attention to the marking, sawing and chiseling and every thing looked near perfect until I went to test the joints.

With dovetails I do not normally do a complete fit, I will just place the tails over the pins to see if I can start the joint. If I can, then I will set the pieces in final relation to each other add glue to the long grain and knock the joints home. The operative word being knock the joint home. With these the first corner fell into place as did all the others. For some reason every joint was loose, well shaped but loose as a goose. The only thing that changed between this box and the ones before was I used a different saw, still a dovetail saw but different.  That shouldn't have made a difference's the little things....


I do not often look at eBay postings for several reasons. Most important, I don't need any more tools (yeah, right) nor do I have room to store 'em (true). But every once in awhile I'll have a little morning coffee time and I will take a look. It can be interesting.

Today I put in the search box "used woodworking hand tools buy it now" and on the third page was a listing for a "user grade" Stanley 3C seller typed as a Type 12. From the photos I couldn't see anything that would make me question the Type. The plane had been buffed and cleaned up with some evidence of deeper rust but not much, all in all I would agree the plane would make a nice $40 to $50 USD user plane except for the "C".

The seller had the plane priced at $340 USD and, at least for me, what was even more head slapping was there were 60+ following the listing. The only thing I can think of to cause that many to follow would be just wanting to see if someone would really pay $340 USD for a user grade #3C.


Monday, December 29, 2014

It's Been a Nice Run

I'm back to the grind this afternoon, it would have been nice to have extended the days off until after the 1st but that is not to be. Yesterday, because it was the last day off for awhile, I put my big boy panties on early morning and was reasonably productive working through a mild cold and some minor old fart aches and pains. I even took Sam the Wonder Dog and Sweet Maggie Dog for a short ride in the truck to the local Woodcraft for doggie biscuits. Not a bad way to end a few days off.

I finished another small box, my box inventory is now close to normal. I like to have a half dozen or so available to give as gifts and thank you's. As mentioned earlier, the box was made of Spanish Cedar with a South American Walnut base and Sepele top. I had not used either Spanish Cedar or South American Walnut before. The Spanish Cedar with Tried and True is beautiful as is the almost black South American Walnut. Both woods are easy to work the only down side is both are very soft and I expect easily damaged.

I also finished a large Sepele picture frame, 610mm X 410mm inside dimensions, for one of MsOK's ceramic pieces.  Frames for her ceramic work are tough to build because of the weight of the mounted art work. I used splines in the miters to add corner strength, 6mm Baltic Birch ply for the center. The ply is glued into a 13mm rebate with screws on 100mm centers.  I'm not sure what else I can do to hold the weight and of course once the wood starts moving fun could be had by all.

It even warmed up enough to get another coat of paint on the pantry doors from hell. I figure a couple more coats of paint and they will be ready to hang.

Back to setting in a dark box for four hours at a time. What the hell, it beats working and I use to say at least a Sim can't kill you. Cessna Wichita proved that wrong.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Small Projects

It has been cold here in the Old Pueblo, I know cry me a river and 30F to 50F isn't cold to most but damn it's cold. Because it's cold I've been working mostly with the shop closed up, that in turn means for the most part small projects. 

Here is a view of the bench in the middle of of a small box build and a picture frame glue up: 

The box is made of Spanish Cedar and will have a South American Walnut base with a Sepele top and finished with Tried and True. Spanish Cedar is really pretty but is very soft.  I expect this will not be a functional box but will look nice on the shelf.

We did a couple of days in Rocky Point, MX for MsOK's B-Day....As always when in Mexico I consumed way too much food and beer. The hotel and beach were nice and it was good to be out of town, even better to get back home. Love my critters and shop. 

Because we were out of town on the Solstice our annual necked dance around the Solstice Bonfire and burning of bad art/craft from the past year was put off a few days. Not only did I burn a few failed projects I rid the shop of lots of cutoffs. All in all a good Solstice Celebration. 

I've had one green eye and one red, stop/go/stop/go, over the new planes from Lee Valley, I've built one with a 55 degree frog and it's in my cart ready to check out but.....I know for $85 USD I can order a HAF for my LN #4 and that's the hold up. I know me and the question is: Would I take the time to change the frogs back and forth.....I expect the answer is no, that is the reason I have as many bench planes as I have instead of extra irons to change to when a different profile is needed. I might as well push the damn button.

Today is the last day before donning the monkey suit and effectively starting the new year. As I look back on the old year, it wasn't bad, let's hope the new is as good or better.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Pencil Box From the Front

Here it is Ralph:

One more:

Pencil Box

The off cuts from MsOK's painted candle box were just the right size to make a pencil box. Digging through the small off cut rack behind the work bench I found a nice piece of Cherry that was just large enough for the base and in my newly organized wood rack was a small hunk of Sapele that was just wide enough to make the sliding top. I was off to the races.

The new pencil box, Cherry base, Poplar body, and a Sapele top. Finished with Tried and True. Not too shabby for a bunch of scraps.

Odds and Ends

Del Smith was found dead in his home early in December, he was 82. Del founded and ran Evergreen Aviation until its end last year when it went into Chapter 7. He started with a single helicopter in Oregon and at its peak Evergreen ran a world spanning 747 airline with helicopter and Learjet bases where ever there was a contract. He had contracts with the U.N., the U.S. Department of Defense, CIA, many other NGOs, and other governments. Del defined the term "Crony Capitalist".

Evergreen was my last flying job before I went into semi-retirement. The saying at Evergreen was you were fired the day you were hired, you just didn't know what day it was. I expect I was one of the few that walked out on my terms not because Del fired me. The one constant at Evergreen was if Del had been home for more than a couple of days in a row you were headed somewhere the next day and that somewhere was likely 10 to 12 time zones away. The bar stories I have from that time will last the rest of my life, each more unbelievable than the last but all at least 99% true. You just couldn't make shit up that was better than what really happened. Del was one of the last of an era, RIP Del.

The Boss comes home day will be spent running the streets, cleaning the house a little so it doesn't look like the critters and I have been on our own for a couple of weeks, maybe a little shop time, and of course getting the things needed to drive to Mexico for the weekend.

For once I'm ready for TMIDOTY, MsOK's B-Day gift came yesterday as did her Winter Solstice gift. Both are in gift sacks with tissue paper stuffing just like i've seen MsOK do it....Hell I'm ready.

Unless someone books at the last minute, I'm through with work for the year. The pantry might be finished by the 1st but I wouldn't bet too much on it.

I wish you'll a good Winter Solstice Celebration and a Happy New Year. See you on down the road.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SPLOMLWMBO Will Fly Home Tomorrow

MsOK comes home tomorrow, then on the 21st. we will drive to Mexico to celebrate TMIDOTY (the most important day of the year), her birthday on the 22nd.

I've made a small painted box to hold her birthday camcorder. I hate paint, I should never be allowed within several miles of a paint brush and/or a pot of paint but a painted box was requested. With an oil finish I can knock one of these boxes out in a couple or three hours and that includes tea breaks. This painted one took three days and because of the paint it would need to be classified as a "second". The good news she will not notice and I followed orders. The red B-Day box is on the right, I had some scrap of the right size left over to make the pencil box on the left. The pencil box is waiting for the glue pot to warm up.

The Winter Solstices step stools are finished.

The pantry doors are still waiting on the last couple of coats of paint (see above). It has been too cold or raining when I've had time to paint....Who knows when they will be finished.

Even with working I've been reasonably productive while MsOK was gone, amazing how much time the old gal requires, she's worth it but with just me and the critters home we get a lot more done.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Moving Wood

I can't keep a lot of wood, shop is too small, but I have some stored. One of the problems with storing wood in a small space is keeping it organized and accessible. Organization and accessibility go hand in hand. Over time as wood is brought into the shop and used every thing becomes haphazard, at least that is the way it works here at Casa Chaos, and finding a piece of wood for a project becomes difficult. In fact so difficult it is quicker and easier to run to the wood store to buy what is needed for the current project when you know full well that somewhere in the pile is the perfect hunk of wood. It has been that way for the last several months.

Of course one of the hindrances to straightening out the wood stores is facing wrestling around 10' long 8/4 hunks of Sepele, Oak, and Beech. My old back can only take so much before it starts whispering No Mas, No Mas and the whisper soon turns into a yell.

There I go building a clock.....Bottom line: I needed a 250mm wide board to make a replacement stool for the one I screwed up during glue up and I knew there was something in the wood pile that would work. After moving most of the wood on the bottom two racks, I of course found several that are perfect. Finding the boards forced me to move so much wood that I might as well straighten out the wood pile as I replace the moved wood back on the racks.

Bottom rack will be for full length 8/4 or larger lumber with some long 8/4 cut offs. Next rack up will hold full length 6/4 and 4/4 boards and the top two racks will be mostly shorter cut offs.

Will it help? Maybe for a few weeks.

MsOK loves bonfires on winter evenings, she now has one hell of a stack of expensive firewood for her fires. When she gets back from Texas maybe I'll get an attaboy.

Wood in bottom rack. Yes I know it should be stickered but.....second rack almost done.

Some of the cut offs to be racked;

The top two racks....What a mess, I expect MsOK's bonfire pile will grow some more:


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Stuff Happens

I plugged in the glue pot, had a couple cups of coffee, had two big hairy dogs push me around the office before feeding 'em their Kibbles & Bits, even read a couple of emails while waiting for the glue to come to temperature. BTW, I wasn't worried about the glue up, the stool had been put together and taken apart several times to make sure every thing pulled up correctly and square.

Wrong Bubba, I brushed some glue on the tenons and the first slid home with just light pressure. The second, well you see the result, stopped about 4mm short. I gave the leg a tap, damn I should have known better, what can I say other than back to the wood pile.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

One Down

I finished the first of two step stools for the girl child and boy child's Winter Solstice gifts.  I've made a number of these stools, They are an easy build and make a strong step stool. The second is ready for some finish work with the plane and then glue up. I shouldn't celebrate too early 'cause stuff can still happen and I'm kinda like a government contractor, it's not often I finish a project on time and under bid.

The girl child has been married several years now and in fact the first grandkid is almost ready to pop and I still haven't finished her wedding present. I have an excuse, every time I settle on a design she changes her mind about what they will be doing and where they will live.

BTW, the pantry doors are still unpainted and unhung.  Days I could paint I'm working, days I'm off it's been too cold and/or too windy to paint. That's my story anyway.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Foot Stools

I found a nice piece of 250mm wide quarter sawn Red Oak the the other day for about $3 USD a BF. I wish I could have found more that wide but.....The board was perfect for building a couple of foot stools. Can you guess what the kids are getting for their Winter Solstice.

I've built this stool often, it's about as simple as a stool can be. A top, two side pieces, and a through mortice stretcher. It is strong, stable, and when made with Red Oak very attractive.

Here is one of the legs. I'm using a Koyamaichi #2 White Steel chisel to chop the waste, it doesn't get much better as the chisel takes and holds a great edge.

Top with one leg:

I used the Moxon for sawing and marking the tails and pins, while I'm not completely sold on the Moxon it did a pretty good job holding everything in place.

New Truck

I finally did it.  For the last couple of years I have been going back and forth on buying a new truck and if I did would it be gas or diesel. My last truck is a 3/4 ton diesel. it was close to top of the trim level back in 2003 and it has been a great truck with under 200,000 miles. I expect it is good for another 200,000 miles but here is the rub: I'm older than dirt but could outlast the truck and the last thing I want is to need a new truck after retirement.

Ah damn, there I go building a clock.....bottom line I picked up a 2014 Chevy 1500 LTZ with just about every gizmo GM puts on their new trucks. I've been like a rube in New York City, "golly did you see what it just did".

It vibrates the left side of the seat if I drift left, the whole seat and the instrument panel flashes red if I'm about to run into something in front, hell I go down the road drifting left and right just for the cheap thrills. Phones calls come in and the radio volume turns off and all I have to do is talk, seats heat and cool my tush as needed. Lights go on and off as needed with no input, you click open the door lock and the whole side of the truck and ground is lit. The list goes on, what is amazing is the change in just over 10 years. My '03 is a good truck but it is just a truck, a great motor with a cab and bed, you put it in gear and it goes where you want to go but that is about it. The new one is still a truck but it sure tries to hide it.    

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Work Holding

Anyone who reads this blog knows I have no use for tail vises but bottom line, who cares other than MsOK and Sam the Wonder Dog.  Well maybe Sweet Maggie Dog does as long as I have a ball in hand.

CS posted a video on his blog today addressing work holding on a bench with no vises, I expect most have seen it but if not here is a link.

One of the go to books for new bench builders today is CS's. I like the work he has done popularizing hand tools and for that matter bringing old bench forms back to life. But......there's that damn "but" again, you can see the effect of his bench building books on many of the woodwork forums. It seems every bench being built has a leg vise and usually a wagon vise, those without a wagon vise have some other form of tail vise installed.  Looking over some of the builds I have a hard time imagining what kind of work the bench is being built for.  BTW, I'm guessing most readers skipped over his advise to look at your bench build plans and if parts of it do not look or function like the classic benches it might be wise to rethink those parts.

Most of what I'm trying to say is: Many times there are as good or better ways to hold work for whatever operation you wish to perform than a vise. Sometimes not, I use the heck out of my face vise and I wouldn't really want to lose it but for most operations, other than end work, working with out using a vise is faster and often will give better results.

I learned something from watching: I now have a name for the notched batten I use to hold work on the bench for cross grain planing. It's a good video, watch it if you have not watched before.

Monday, December 01, 2014

A Couple of Small Boxes

It's that time of year when you are expected to go to work place Winter Solstice parties and make nice to folks you do not know and some you wish you didn't know.  As with all work related social event they are never win win. The best you can hope for is you do not step on your dick too hard and/or walk out with no one remembering you were there.

Grump, grump.....

We are going to MsOK's this week, I lucked out on mine because MsOK will be in Texas and gives me a perfect excuse to miss. On to the chase.....

We are expected to bring a "White Elephant" gift to MsOK's. I have a couple of small boxes that are "seconds" squirreled away in the tool room. I expect one or both will end up belonging to someone else before the week is over.

Nothing big wrong with either, I expect unless pointed out only an another craftsman would notice but of course I will have to point out the faults. It's kinda like picking at a scab or scratching an itch, it can't be helped.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Caleb James Side Bead Plane

USPS delivered my Celab James 3/8 side bead plane this afternoon. I had to run a bead straight out of the box.....Sweet.

He was Schwarzed a few months ago and is running slow on filling orders but the plane is worth the wait. He closed orders for awhile but I think he is taking pre-orders again.

I have pantry doors to paint, I'm finding every excuse in the book to put it off. My hands are black from sharpening every hunk of iron I can find in the shop as well as flatting every stone in the sharpening cabinet. If I really get desperate I've several dozen saws that need some TLC....or I could just go and paint the damn doors. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Let me wish all a good T-Day, of all the holidays T-Day and Juneteen are the only ones I celebrate. Well, I take that back a little....December 22th (Ms OK's B-Day) is the most important day of the year and woe is me if there is not great joy and remembrance on that day.

I've a four day weekend with nothing planned, it should be good but I expect will pass all too quickly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Different Strokes, What Blows Your Skirt, I Can't Believe, Whatever

There's a new post of a bench build on one of the woodworking forums. The bench has four vises, two face vises on opposite sides, one a leg vise the other a metal face vise, and two end vises, one a wagon and the other a face type vise mounted in end vise position.  I counted over 50 dog holes set to be used with the four vises. A sliding deadman and a crochet to the left of the leg vise. In addition there are six 2"X3" holes down the middle of the bench for whatever. I can not imagine working on the bench but I expect the builder had fun planning it out.

BTW, sometime ago I posted somewhere about Swiss Army knife work benches.....I didn't have a clue, this is the penultimate Swiss Army knife bench.  

I know, I know.....all of the above in the title apply but....damn, sometimes something is so far over the top all you can do is, to quote David Bromberg's Bullfrog Blues, You just got to wonder. This time what in the hell the builder was thinking. One thing I know, I've got to learn to stay off bench building threads on the intertubes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Changed Face Vise

I finally tired of fooling with the leg vise on the old bench and dropped kicked it through the bench vise goal posts into its rightful spot...Hidden in the "tool room" never to be seen. At least until I build another bench and can use the new in the box also stored in the tool room crisscross with it.

It was replaced with an old English metal QR vise, I believe a Paramo but it could be a Record, I had stored in the same tool room. It is a smaller #150 which is not as robust as the #52 but as it is on the secondary bench that shouldn't be a problem. Anyway, it is installed with leather lined wood jaws. I stuck a longish board in outboard of the center and tightened down. Very little racking even with out a spacer and there wasn't any way with a foot of leverage the board would move.

Same song different verse: The leg vise looks "right" on a French style bench and when it is in adjustment works pretty good, not better than an older English metal QR but works OK. The metal vise is no fuss, always works the same, if it racks a little it is easy to take care of with a spacer and is quicker to go from one size object to the next. Pretty and traditional vs. functional, for me not much of a contest. Of course as with all things woodworking and most things life.....YMMV.

BTW, I worked several years on that bench with the leg vise installed. From the get go it worked OK but would occasionally go out of adjustment and become "sticky". A couple of minutes rolling around on the floor in the shavings and saw dust and it would be back to normal and work fine but never better than any other good vise. With no real advantage in holding or speed the leg vise just isn't worth the every month or so up close and personal inspections of my floor maintenance. Of course the dogs might disagree, they figured my being on the floor was play time and an invitation to lick my face.  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

To Strop Or Not

I have Japanese chisels in both #1 and #2 White Steel, either takes an incredible edge straight off the stone and the edge will last. I also have a set of the newer Stanley SW 750's with Chrome Steel, they take a good edge but straight off the stone the edge fractures at the first touch of wood and the chisel dulls very quickly. If I strop on some leather charged with Herb's Yellowstone, the chisel feels the same, not as sharp as the Japanese chisels but close and the edge will not fracture as quickly. Either chisel makes a good working chisel but each needs a different approach to sharpening.

Just an observation, time to go strap a Sim to my ass for most of the day.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bench Curmudgeon

I guess I'm a curmudgeon. Whatever. If it is in fashion I don't like it. I don't set out to dislike the bench appliance or vise, in fact I'm usually a fairly early adapter with high hopes that it will be the end all of work bench aids. But it is kinda like the country song line about looking for love in all the wrong places. Usually no joy.

Leg vises and wagon vises are the "it" vises today, almost every new bench build has one or both. As I've posted before: BTDT and didn't like the T-Shirt. I've tried using leg vises on benches other than mine thinking maybe I did a poor install, not the case at least on the ones I've tried. Maybe others have better luck but I find leg vises fussy and slow to use and frankly they hold no better than my English QR metal vise. Basically no working advantage and a hell of a lot more work to install, kinda lose lose. I must add: Leg vises can be pretty and I guess sexy in a bench vise way, where my QR vise is kinda like granny's underwear, not very attractive but it sure is functional.

Wagon vises, what can I say other than I just do not find there is a need for end vises. There are other and better ways to hold work and the wagon vise is also a PITA to install maybe not as bad as a classic tail vise but still....Again BTDT, same shitty T-Shirt.

The latest is the Moxon vise. I had to try one and this time I was late to the party. I had high hopes for it and I could see some real possibilities for the Moxon but in practice not so good. It does what it was designed to do and that is to hold wide boards. It clamps down tight but....there is that damn but that always pops least on my bench it vibrates when sawing. I tried it on both benches same result, tried with different holdfasts, both the regular whack 'em kind and the LV screw down ones, same result.  Bottom line: The Moxon is stored under the bench to maybe be retrieved if I'm doing dovetails on a wide case....maybe.

I'm sure there are folks out there that have used other ways of holding work on their benches and still find a leg vise the best option as I sure there are folks that can not do without an end vise, I glad you have found what works for you. For the folks just starting on their first bench build, remember just because it is in fashion and everyones building a bench with leg vises and/or wagon vises they may not be the best option.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Kitchen Pantry Update

It, the kitchen pantry, is getting close to finished, the joinery is done on the three sets of doors, just peg and glue the last set then finish painting the whole shebang and hang 'em. Well maybe not that close but.....

As with anything to do with fixing, changing or remodeling an older house it is a PITA, give me new construction any day. Just too much time spent scratching your ass trying to figure a way to make it fit, make it look square, and keep it from looking like a total kluge. 

I used one of the new Kikuhiromaru chisels last night to pare and fit the door tenons. It was really sweet, incredibly sharp, felt just as sharp when finished as when I started (looked that way as well), and as with most Japanese chisels very light and balanced in hand. I should have time next week to finish prepping the set or at least the ones I will use the most.  

Off to work....gotta fill the cockpit with smoke today and watch what happens. Always a fun time.

BTW Ralph, I expect it is just the normal ebb and flow. I've been doing this as a journal for a few years with times of good activity and others of little.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Prepping the New Japanese Chisels

I've started on prepping the new chisels, I'll do a few at a time, fitting them in between other project. First job is to remove the ring and the lacquer coating the chisel.  An easy way to re-fit the ring is to hammer the end to compress the fibers. When the ring is re-installed soak the handle for 15-20 minutes in water to soften and expand the handle. After the handle has soaked, again with the hammer mushroom the top with glancing blows. Then on to honing the iron.

The first chisel's back was flat and polishing was very quick. The bevel had a little belly, I started out on the 2000 stone and it was soon apparent I needed to go down.....Ended up using the 600 EZLap to remove the belly before I could move on to polishing the bevel.

I finished MsOK's picture frame yesterday and the middle two doors for the kitchen pantry, down to two more grooves on the bottom two doors. Pantry project is finally in the short rows.  

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kikuhiromaru Chisels

My set of of Kikuhiromaru chisels came in todays mail. Number 1 White Steel, White Oak handles, and hand hammered finish. A little bing never hurts.

No chance to prep 'em today, maybe start on a couple tomorrow. Whatever I'm interested in seeing how they feel once prepped and ready to work.

Sunday, November 09, 2014


I instruct for a living and like most folks that take pride in their work think I'm pretty good at it.  But I learned something a couple of days ago, I do not think I can teach wood working. I'm helping (teaching) a co-worker build a work bench. The build is in my shop because that is where the tools are plus I can do other projects while my co-worker works on his bench.

I'm using the classic "show one", "observe one", "do one" method of teaching the process of joinery and to some degree we are ending up with joints. The phase "it is a work bench" has been uttered more than once and thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for draw bores. It is a work bench and I expect when finished with the help of pinned joints it will function but damn it's going to be ugly.

While one co-worker was working on his bench Friday another was over so I could install the replacement trim on his motorhome. I think I posted several weeks ago about the trim, how it was made of MDF with a picture of wood glued on and how the dealer had FUed the repair job so badly the owner of the motorhome refused to take it back for warranty work.  Anyway, the motorhome was in my driveway, I had the trim pieces to cut to final size and fit, the bench builder was hard at work with a lack of close supervision, the critters were in critter heaven. In other words Casa Chaos was living up to its name.

With only a few glitches we got the trim installed and even though the new trim is Cherry stained to match the pictures of Cherry it looked pretty good when finished. It wasn't a perfect match but it didn't shout "I'm different". Whatever the owner was happy of course that could be because of the three Martinis he had before leaving for home. If the work isn't perfect give 'em booze.

Back to the poorly supervised bench builder. When I marked up the legs for the stretcher mortices I stressed that the mark up process was the most stressful part of the build and at each stage before cutting or chopping anything if there is any question place the parts in their intended position and confirm that yes indeed that is where the mortice goes. Do I need to go any farther.... One leg will have a big "plug" next to its long stretcher. What the hell, "It's a workbench".

BTW, the day before as I watched the bench builder pare the knife line on a tenon I noticed he was getting some resistance, I looked at the chisel he was using and as expected it needed sharpening. After sharpening the chisel and giving it back I had no more than turned my back before hearing "fuck" and the chisel hitting the bench. Of course blood was squirting everywhere, he had damn near taken a finger tip off. Paper towels, liquid hide glue, and duct tape took care of the problem and he went back to work cutting wood instead of flesh.

I was letting the bench builder use my Stanley 750s because they are a reasonably good chisel and of my bench chisels the most bulletproof.  After everyone left Friday I picked up the chisels the bench builder was using and couldn't believe anyone could use a chisel in as bad shape. The fractured edges looked like a hag's mouth. I would guess the worst one needed at least a mm of steel removed to get pass the fractures. I haven't a clue how edges could be so destroyed.....As stated earlier....Ain't no way I could ever teach wood working.        

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Hide Glue

I've been a convert to Liquid Hide Glue, both the Titebond and Old Brown Glue, for some time. It's good glue, nice to work and works well but I've also read about hot Hide Glue and some of the differences between the two such as being able to do "rub joints." I had to put a glue pot on my want list.

After looking at several and dithering for what seems forever I ordered TFWW's copper lined glue pot. The UPS girl or maybe more accurate the FedEx guy delivered it and a couple of other things a few days ago. Nice pot. I finally had a glue up to do last night and fired the pot up, put in a hand full of dried hide glue and some water. After heating and guessing at how it should look, I went with thin syrup, I did a rub joint. Damn, it worked.....just a few seconds and there was no way the two pieces of wood were coming apart. Next up were the M/T joints of the two small doors, no muss or fuss, just painted the tenons and the pins and stuck it together. Pretty nice stuff.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Teased Today

I have an order in for a set of Kikuhiromaru chisels made with #1 White Steel and White Oak handles, for a short while it looked as if they were going to be ready a little earlier than expected. I received an email stating they were finished early and images were attached for my approval.

I opened the first image and these are the chisels:

Absolutely beautiful chisels but..... and I almost didn't say anything. Of course they are making it right and I'll have my chisels at about the time I was expecting them anyway. But damn, it was hard to walk away and wait for them to be re-handled in White Oak. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

New Moxon

A TFWW delivery came yesterday, in it was a Moxon vise, a glue pot, hide glue, some brushes, a few coping saw blades, and a several file handles for my saw files.

The glue pot is impressive, I've been putting it off and using Old Brown Glue but there are a couple of things hot glue will do better so I finally did the deed. The other stuff is just things I've been putting off, waiting for an order to add them to.

The Moxon, well, what can I say, everyone but Bubba has one so....Monon come to Bubba.  I can see where it will be easier to mark my pins using the Moxon and if so then it will be worth while just for that and I can believe holding wide boards will be easier. I guess what I'm thinking is....Moxon, come on down and show me your stuff. Right now I'm neutral but open to convincing.  

I cut a couple of tails to see how it felt to the saw. It's OK, the Paramo feels better but not much holds better than the Paramo. The extra height is noticeable but I expect after a few dozen saw cut I will not think about it. 

Odds are the Moxon will end up on the other bench for no other reason than it takes up a lot of real estate. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

First Day Off

I did an eight straight days run at work, off today but go back for three tomorrow. Not much gets done on work days, I almost always plan to spend a few hours in the shop and most of the time I do but the time spent isn't too productive if you do not count tool maintenance and sharpening. After eight days on the job my chisel and plane irons are pristine but the pantry doors are just setting there.

Along with the day off road running I managed to get one door fitted, it still needs the panel cut and to be draw bored but at least a little progress was made. BTW, what a PITA deep 1/4" mortices are on narrow rails. This is one case where a pig sticker is just too much chisel but I really do not like using a bench chisel. Of course after making a kluge of the first four mortices I remembered I've a set of Sorby sash mortice chisels on the west wall. Sometimes I need a minder, I dread seeing what I'm like in another ten-fifteen years.  

Notched Battens

Christopher Schwarz  had a blog post today about the notched batten and Richard Maguire, it was short but to the point and worth a read. Plus there is a link to Richard Maguire's video using  a notched batten. Even if you have watched the video before, and I expect most have, it is worth a re-watch.

I've been using notched battens for awhile and their use has allowed me to eliminate the tail vise on my current work bench. Cheaper to build and faster and simpler in use....what's not to like. 

Here it is in use:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What I Found in Today's Post

A couple of weeks ago during a midnight prowl of Japanese tool porn I couldn't help myself and ordered a Kinshiro Marking Gauge. Mr. Kinshiro has retired and the gauges are becoming rare but that is not the only reason I wanted one, they are beautifully made and one of the most functional marking gauges of any type.

Anyway enough of the back story, when I order from Japan I usually just forget about it and I have a pleasant surprise when the tool shows up. Well today I had a pleasant surprise, much sooner than I expected.

The gauge is beautiful, with a wonderful feel in the hand, and most important makes nice true mark with little pressure.

I have a couple more nice surprises coming, one from Stu at Tools from Japan , the other from Mr. Tomohito Iida at Iida Tool .

Midnight browsing of tool porn can be expensive.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster for Machines

I had a couple of minutes available to finish milling the rails and stiles for the pantry doors. As much as I enjoy working wood with hand tools it is good and meet to have machines to true and dimension stock. All that is needed now is to match up the pieces and saw to size then I can start the joinery.

On a job like this one, with six semi-large doors I can almost wish I still had the router table, then I remember the noise, dust, and danger. So MsOK is tapping her foot with arms folded waiting for her pantry to be's not a big deal doing that many doors by hand is slower.

Next up I'll go through the stock, matching up potential rails with stiles and culling the extras. As always, the decision will be: Do I do all six doors as a batch or do the doors in pairs. Efficiency would have me doing each process on all six in steps. Sanity, I hope, will win and I will work on each door set to finish and then go on to the next.

The trued stock:



Friday, October 10, 2014

A Surprise Day Off

A Client canceled scheduled training at the last minute and I've a three day weekend that was not expected. It changed the schedule from hell to one that is OK, or maybe a better way to put it; it delayed the start of a slightly better schedule from purgatory.

I expect today will be spent mostly running the streets taking care of stuff that has been put off but I also hope to start the rough dimensioning of the stiles and rails for the new pantry's six doors. That and finish up the RV's trim work. Those projects along with shop and tool maintenance and it should be a nice couple/three days off.

I've a couple of new Arkansas stones coming, I expected them yesterday, maybe the UPS girl will show up today.  I'm settling into a sharpening system that is working very well and may end my quest for a better way.  I'm using a set of EZLap diamond stones for grinding, then depending somewhat on the metal of the iron, using either the brown Spyderco ceramic or a Hard Black Arkansas to lap. For polishing I'm using the white Fine Spyderco ceramic stone and I've lost the strop. Instead of a strop for final edge clean up I'm giving the edge a pull through the end grain of a Red Oak block. I forget where I saw the block "trick" but it seems to work very well.

It's a pretty no muss, no fuss system, requiring only an occasional flatting/waking up of the stones and the best part is no water. The only water to touch my tools is when I use the Tormek to reshape the bevel.    

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Sticking Board

A friend's new RV had some trim work that needed attention. The dealer blotched the repair job so bad he will not take it back to them. After looking at the repair I can't say I blame him, I wouldn't let 'em touch it either.

Anyway he asked if I could make new trim pieces, because he is a good friend I agreed. Pulling the old trim off was quite a shock, it's all MDF with a picture of wood glued on and this is on a very high dollar RV.

I've the trim in my shop, I found a nice 8/4 Cherry board in my wood pile that is close to the Cherry picture of wood and I've rough dimensioned the trim pieces. It is now just a matter of cleaning 'em up but as usual there is a small hold up. It would be best to use a sticking board for the clean up but the sticking board I just made is too short. I'm waiting for the trim pieces to finish doing their stupid wood tricks and while waiting I need to decide if it is worth making a simpler but longer sticking board or just making a very thin stop and using the bench top as a sticking board. Still going over the pros and cons but leaning towards just a very thin stop.  


I'm like most folks, as I've aged I've added weight. It seems I've averaged 5 to 20 lbs a decade, it's not too much nor has it happened quickly but....over 50 decades I've become fat. I wish there were a nicer way to put it but there isn't. Fat is fat and what brought it home was getting some blood work done a couple of months ago which showed I was pre-diabetic and of course the photos from long ago helped as well.

I've gone on low carb diets before and I lose weight easily by limiting carbs but.....damn in life there are always buts. My favorite foods are beer, Tex-Mex, anything with rice, and pasta. It's tough to give 'em up. That said, how can you complain when a typical lunch looks like this and you lose weight.

Steak cooked charred on the outside and rare in the center, shrimp, and greens with oil and vinegar:

I started out a couple of months ago just a little over 235 lbs. I got stuck at about 215 lbs. for a couple of weeks and then I paid attention to MsOK. 

MsOK has been on an anti artificial sweetener rant for some time. She says that artificial sweeteners "trick" the body into producing more insulin and are worse that using sugar. What the hell, even though I'm a sceptic it couldn't hurt to stop using sweeteners and drinking diet drinks. I didn't think it would make a difference but wrong Bubba, the weight started melting off.

Yesterday I weighted in at 205 lbs., 30 lbs off in a couple of months eating as much as I want as shown above. Not too bad but damn I miss my beans and tortillas.   

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Dog's Breakfast

The drawers are installed in the pantry, just as I was headed to the shop to true up and dimension the wood for the drawer fronts MsOK decided she wanted doors instead. Whiplash, I tell you that woman gives me whiplash. Anyway three sets of doors coming up if and when I can find a few days to work on 'em.

Must be nostalgia time, lately I've received photographs from the dark ages, one set from an old friend who shared a hangar with me in the 80's and the other from my first and truest love. Barbara and I watched the moon landing together, she was working her way through nursing school and I was a Medical Lab Tech along with doing the flight school thing and a occasional shot at University. The photos she sent were from our time in Utah in the early 70's. BTW, Barb ended up with a PhD, I went on to flying corporate aircraft, ending my flying on a Gulfstream G-IV and now instruct in Sims. Oh, as an after thought and never used, I got a B.S. in Economics.

Here I am, all 160lbs of me, with the required 70's "Porn Stach":

This other photo, I would guess, is from the 80's and has a story behind it. Mostly about how times change.

OK, if you will let an old man indulge here is the back story: I spent most of my adult life on Hobby Airport, first showing up right out of High School. I left a couple of times but bottom line Hobby was home and it was that way to many of my cohorts. The airport was pretty close knit and because Houston wasn't at that time too civilized the folks that had the money to operate airplanes were mostly larger than life. Another way to put it is we took our working, drinking and playing to another level. During the time of the above photo every Friday whoever was in town from our hangar crew would go to a local beer and hamburger joint for lunch. The place was kinda a forerunner of Hooters, the wait staff was young, good looking and being the 80's a good number didn't wear bras. The beer would flow and most Fridays we would end up crawling out about closing time. An example of changing times, no DWI ever resulted. Anyway I'll cut to the chase: after a while they started sticking us in a back area where we wouldn't scare the civilians too much. Of course a bunch of young men with more money than sense mixed with lots of beer and a young good looking wait staff resulted in an occasional boob flash. One of the results was Kelly decided that turn about was fair play as this photo shows.  Damn we had fun, ain't no way those times could be repeated today....The world and America has changed too much. 

Friday, October 03, 2014

Pantry Short Rows

A two week job is now in its second month, but at least the end is somewhere in sight. I'm mounting the drawers and adjusting the slides for smooth operation. Making and finishing the face plates is next on the list. Then it will just be a case of waiting for the back ordered pulls.

I'm off for a couple and the box building and finishing for the pantry is done. I will look for any reason to delay mounting the boxes to the slides. I haven't a clue why but I sure can find things to slow me down. This morning it was putting the shop back in order and cleaning off the second bench. While straightening up I ran across a piece of Sapele that would make a good straight edge. What a lovely little project, I was able to use a bunch different tools, the shooting board, three different planes other than the shooting board's #51 including the big boy #8, a draw knife, a spokeshave, and even dug out the metal straightedge to check for true. Here it is noon and I still have the first drawer of the day to mount and I can hear the wood store calling my name. 

The new straightedge:


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pantry Build is Still Coming Along Slowly

I'm beginning to think this pantry build will never end. Between work, building a work bench for a friend, a little out of town travel, keeping Casa Chaos from falling down, caring for two hairy critters and one Scot, plus finishing up last year's taxes before the 15th. I just finished six straight days at work and have twelve straight bearing down on me like a train, I'm close to overload.

Times like this and retirement starts looking good, then I get the mental image of me retired in a food, glue, and finish stained T-shirt and shorts, shaking my fist at the neighbor kids and yelling at them to get off my rocks....It ain't a pretty thought and twelve in a row starts looking better.

Anyway, the slides are installed, the drawers are finished but.....and it is a big but, because I built 'em tight to 25mm smaller than the opening and after looking at the mount options I decided I needed to use the face plate mount instead of direct mounting the slides and the face plate mount requires a few extra mm of room, the drawers are close to 6mm too wide.

Almost too much to plane off and too little for the bandsaw but bandsaw it is followed by the Stanley #5 with a heavy camber and the LN #4 1/2 to smooth it all. That's the bad news, the good is it doesn't take long....about 15 minutes a drawer and I'm getting a good work out to boot.

Once the drawers are fitted, I'll make faceplates and fit the rails. I expect the rails will be attached with the Kreg system and screws. That's not my favorite way of doing things but my guess it's the best for this build.

The pulls are still on back who knows when it will be finished.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sold the Honda VTX1300

My bike inventory is down by one, the little '06 VTX has a new home. It was a good bike, I did my first SS1000 (the entry ride to join the Iron Butt Association) on it as well as many LD rides. The last few years it had lived with the boy child in Texas but he stopped riding. The last time we went to visit I trailered it back to Tucson. It's good it sold, I don't ride enough to justify one bike much less three. I expect to offer the Kawasaki up for a price that can not be refused soon to get down to just the 'Wing.

The IBA is having a party in Dallas the first part of November, I expect I will throw a leg over the 'Wing and head East on TBMCRITS*, make a left to join I-20 outside Van Horn and spend a couple of days telling "there I waz" stories and showing off the Dirty Fat Girl to the only folks that might think she's pretty.

*I-10, The Best Motorcycle Road in The States, 874 miles and 6 curves from Orange to Anthony :-).

The VTX off the road from Ozona, TX to Del Rio, TX:

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finished the Drawers for the Pantry

The Pantry is close to finished, the frame is painted, the drawers are together and just need a finish, and I need to mount the slides. The pulls were backordered so it may be awhile before I can install the face plates on the drawers. Oh well that's life.

The drawers are large, figuring out a way to hold them for finish planing of the edges took a little butt scratching but a couple of holdfasts with battens and a couple of stops did the job with no muss and no fuss.

Another view:

Last one:

I did my kitchen a couple or three years ago, because of the number of drawers I chose to use a dovetail jig. I wish I hadn't. I should have taken the time to hand cut the dovetails, I think the boxes are much stronger and truer than those made by machine and they look much better. That said, ain't no way, no how I'm going to redo all the kitchen drawers by hand.

A couple more thoughts: I no longer "test" fit my dovetails, once the tails and pins are cleaned up I put a little liquid hide glue on the pins and drive the tails home. The hide glue acts as a lubricant and I get fewer "splits" doing it that way. Before I got most of my split boards when separating the boards after a test fit. My guess is the combination of lubrication and no stress from pulling the joints apart has stopped the splits. As always YMMV. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Back From The Fall Bad Axe Saw Sharpening Class

As much as I hate airline travel, and this trip didn't change my feelings, the saw sharpening class put on by Bad Axe was worth the two days of TSA Steerage hell.

Mark covered the basics right after introductions and coffee then it was straight to hands on. Starting with how to take a back saw apart and clean it. We went through all the stages of building/restoring hand saws, all hands on, with either Mark or one of the guys watching and advising.

La Crosse is a beautiful little town on the River and Mark is a great host, if you are interested in saw maintenance it is worth the weekend for the course.

There were a couple of last minute cancelations so instead of the usual six there were only three in the class.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Finished At Bad Axe

I've finished two days at Bad Axe, Mark does a great job of teaching the basic skills needed to maintain your saws. Right now it has been well worth putting up with TSA of course I still have tomorrow to go. More once home and on a computer with a keyboard.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

On The Road

I'm doing TSA stupid human tricks for most of the morning. Tomorrow I'll be sharpening saws @ Bad Axe., returning to Tucson Sunday. I hope it is worth two days of TSA

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Cutting Grooves for Drawer Bottoms

Four down sixteen to go. Truth is the four went very quickly. I haven't decided the order of work yet but I'm leaning towards doing a drawer, then doing the next one and so on. It is not as efficient but it will also keep the mind engaged. Grooving twenty sides then cutting twenty sets of tails followed by twenty sets of pins could be mind numbing.

One of the grooves:

I've been using the brown and the white Spyderco ceramic stones for final polishing after establishing the bevel with either the EZE-LAP fine or the Tormek and skipping the strop for the last couple of weeks. My irons have never been sharper.

Here is something for the soul, the view out our back garden of the Catalina's during a Monsoon rain today:

Perlstein, Nixon and Watergate

I've been reading a couple of books lately, re-reading Perlsteins' "Nixonland" and concurrently his "Invisible Bridge". Both books are invaluable for understanding what has happened to us as a nation.

There are many reasons to wish a special place in Hell (if there is one) for Nixon and these books will not change that wish. But for forty years Watergate has made no sense to me, there was no reason for it to have happened. A couple of weeks ago the last lose thread was reveled, the only reason that could cause a rational sitting President to commit such a criminal act, the fear of getting caught in the greater criminal act of treason.  As has been suspected Nixon committed treason by interfering with the 1968 Paris Peace talks, directly leading to the deaths of almost 30,000 US troops. His sabotage of the talks was confirmed a couple of weeks ago. While I could be wrong, Nixon's fear that the Democrats had that confirmation was what led to the break in of the Watergate and the bugging of the offices.

Of course it could be just as simple as Nixon had no moral compass, which was also true, just remember the Southern Strategy.  Without Nixon the racists would have had no place to go other than Wallace and with out the power of one of the major political parties may have faded away.

Bottom line we are living in Nixon's world, 40 years later we are still paying the price and I expect will be for many more years. My only hope is once my cohorts have died out we as a nation can escape Nixonland.  

Drawer Stock

I've spent most of the day truing and dimensioning the drawer stock. I've got 'em stacked by the work bench and ready to start the bottom grooves. Times like this I can almost wish I still had a router table, that's almost....the noise and dust from a router is just too much but I've a couple of hours ahead of me cutting 3/8" grooves before I can start the dovetails.

The good news is everything is coming together and the pantry should be finished in a couple of weeks, less if I wasn't going to be out of town next weekend.


Monday, September 01, 2014

Pantry Frame Finished

Pantry Frame is finished, just waiting for a coat or two of pant. I'll start the drawers sometime in the next day or two. At least making the drawers will be enjoyable.  BTW, I tried to talk MsOK into finishing the paint, you would have thought I had two heads from the look she gave me. She did take a look at it last night and I guess she gave her approval, She said I was very "talented with wood," of course I stubbed my toe, tugged my forelock and said "Ah Shucks Mam". For what it was worth, that's from a woman who wanted me to build a "rustic chest like the ones from Mexico." I wonder, did she mean the pantry looked like a Folk Artist build from found wood pallets? Hummmmm....

Once the pantry is finished it's on to the "rustic" buffet unless MsOK has other plans. We will see how the time works out, I have a three day line starting tomorrow and another three day line starting next Monday. When I finish those lines, I'm off to La Crosse for Bad Axe's Fall saw sharpening seminar.

I expect productivity will be about normal....very slow.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Made some progress on the pantry. Needed two more trips to Home Depot for three total so far, must mean I'm closing in on half way to finishing the job. I would have finished the trim but the shelf has to go in before the last couple of side trim pieces and I ran out of good light for cutting the shelf.

I'll take care of the shelf first thing in AM, finish the trim and then start on the drawers. I figure five will do the job. It should be quick and easy, all through dovetails with an attached face and full extension slides. The only worry is the width, I'll go with 3/8" ply for the bottom and may add a center brace, or make it easy and use 1/2' ply for the bottom. I need to do a little butt scratching on that one.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Favorite Things

Yesterday morning as MsOK and I were having our tea and coffee in the back garden, playing with the critters, and watching the Quail feed she asked me to make a "rustic" Side Board. Of course I asked how "rustic" and she said "like those from Mexico".  After a little back and forth she settled for something with red milk paint.....dodged that bullet.

Anyway. I went to the wood store that afternoon, picked up some Poplar and dimensioned the leg blanks. This morning same setting as yesterday morning I asked for some executive decisions on number of shelfs and doors. The reply.....wait for it...."Oh no, that's not first, I want the pantry and the bathroom done first."  Sometimes that woman gives me whiplash.

OK, pantry it is. Of course any remodel starts with a Home Depot run. Got that out of the way early but forgot I was out of 3" screws so off to Ace for screws. Two of the required six trips to the Home Center done and I hadn't marked the first board. I'm sure you'll are aware no project is finished in less than six trips, I'm off to a good start.

I was going to try to build the pantry with no face frame, just a wall of flush drawers. Forget it, there ain't no way, nothing is square. I finally gave up, framed it out and will come back in with trim and pooky to make it look OK. I'm sticking with the flush drawers for now but now they will be flush with the trim and face frame.

Here is a photo of the wonderful, dry, construction grade wood available at your local Big Box. No wonder nothing is square,


Sunday, August 24, 2014

EZE-LAP or I Have Sharpening Round Heals

Bet you didn't know Amazon delivered on Sunday. I didn't but I guess they do now. I ordered a set of EZE-LAP diamond stones Friday the confirmation said delivery Sunday 08/24/14 and I thought yeah....sure, I'll see 'em Monday. When I came home from work around 1100 there was a box by the door, oh you of little faith, say a dozen Omni, Omni, VORs.....Sorry back on my meds.

I guess you could say I have sharpening round heals. On, above, around, and attached to my sharpening bench is an example of almost every sharpening system know to woodworkers. Jigs, I have 'em. Machines, which one do you want to try, PC, WorkSharp, Tormek, come on down big boy. Sandpaper, most every grit known along with granite plates, lapping plates, diamond spray, paste, and film. Stones, what kind would you like to try, Arkansas oil, Japanese water, Diamond, Ceramic water, and while I don't have every brand there is a damn good selection stuck in different areas of the sharpening cabinet. Strops by the dozen, MDF, Maple, Horse's Butt, Green, Yellowstone, or Diamond.

While all work and will give a "working edge", most have some drawback like Water Stones are high maintenance and messy, Oil I love the feel and the scratch pattern but can be a little slow with some irons and to get a polish you need to strop. Ceramic Water stones while not as messy still are high maintenance. Whatever the system it will work but.....

For the last couple of years for the most part I settled into using DMT Diamond stones. They do a good job, are low maintenance, but I do not like the feel, the feedback and they do not leave a smooth, polished edge. You still need to strop.

I really will get to the point, here is the chase: On one of the forums someone mentioned the difference in "feel" of Mono vs. Poly diamond stones....Damn I have to spend some more money. EZE-LAP come to Papa.

Sure enough, the EZE-LAP have an almost natural stone feel, leave a better scratch pattern than the DMT's but do not come in as fine a grit as available from DMT. Enter one other new addition, the Spyderco Fine Ceramic Stone. After all these years, all the bars and one night stands, I may have found my soul mate. A set of stones with no mess, low maintenance, good feel, will sharpen any iron I will use, and no need to strop. We went looking for a ring this afternoon.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Few Days In A Row Off

I finished a weekend from Hell early last Monday morning. I didn't get a lot done Monday but for me the other four days off were pretty productive.

First up I finished a couple of frames/mounting boards for two of MsOK's ceramic pieces. Now doing that made me modify my shooting board so I could shoot 45's. After a bit of butt scratching and a visit to the wood store I came up with this:

BTW here are the ceramic pieces with the simple frames. Both are painted with a Ash Black milk paint overcoat and waxed. One has a red undercoat and the other has a blue undercoat.

While doing the frames I realized I still needed a sticking board and I had time to make one. Of course it required some more butt scratching, a little time on the intertubes, and another trip to the wood store.
I've added a row of screws for stops.

Also Monday a co-worker that helped move some of the beech and with some of the early glue up of the slabs called and reminded me that I said I would help him with his bench build and was I ready to start. Of course the answer was yes. 

Here are the legs glued up but not cut to length.

One last item: I received a Spyderco Extra Fine Ceramic stone Friday morning. They have been around for years but I had never tried one. It may become my goto polishing stone, the only question is do I loose the strop.

Not a bad few days, less than half of what I planned to do but more than I normally do. back to work today, a mid afternoon Type Ride for a crew so home around midnight. Off Sunday, then back at it Monday starting at 2100. What can I keeps me out of the bars.

Friday, August 15, 2014

What a Waste

Not much will happen in the shop today although I did make a new arm for my 12" bow saw this morning. I guess I'm pretty ham handed, I keep splitting the arms. Before the arms have been made of Hickory, this time I'm trying some Beech. I doubt it will change anything but......

I've spent several thousand USDs over the last couple of months trying to save one of my back molars with no joy, I'm booked to have it yanked out at 1000. I expect the rest of the day will be spent sleeping off the sedative. BTW, the reason for the sedative is back in the early 90s a wisdom tooth procedure went South and I ended up staying several weeks in the hospital and a metal plate holding my jaw together. Can you say dentists suck pond water?

What a waste of a day off.

On another note, I picked up my little Honda VTX 1300 from the shop and got it off the bike trailer yesterday. While it was there they replaced the HK Sideburners with the OEM exhaust, much better and i'll bet the neighbors will be happier.

Here's MsOK and I posing on it a few years ago. I still haven't decided what to do with it, It is a great little bike but the boy child no longer wants it, which is the reason it is back in Tucson and the Sideburners are off.  I did my first Iron Butt ride on it, but I don't really ride enough any more to justify one bike much less three. My guess is I will end up selling the VTX and the Kawasaki and keep the Goldwing.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Holding Boards Flat to Plane

I guess I should post that this is one way to hold a board with stops, battens and holdfast as on a different forum I was taken to task because someone thought I was advocating how I had secured the box side for grooving as the only way and he felt he had a better way, I think it included a wagon vise and/or different use of the holdfasts.....Or maybe to quote Frank Zappa from Joe's Garage "With Leather"....Go figure.

I have a stop curing so for this photo I used a dog as a stop, either will work well. Anyway this is my goto set up for planing the face of boards that are too long to use the face vise. It is quick and easy and if the boards are the same length or you are working both faces when finished with one you can just pick the board up and replace it.

A overview with out the plane:


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why I Don't Need No Stinking Tail Vise :-)

You folks please correct me if I'm wrong. The major function a tail vise, wagon vise or what ever serves is to hold long boards flat on the bench between dogs for face planing, cutting rebates, or grooves. Here is how I hold boards for two of the big three:

Here it is with the groove for the bottom partially cut:

Once I finish with thse bottom grooves I will drill the holdfast holes for the "bird's mouth" batten I use with a stop and a holdfast to secure boards for face planing, taking care of the rest of the big three jobs for a tail vise.

I think for each of these jobs, holdfasts, battens, and stops will do the job as fast or maybe faster than using a tail vise and with little chance of bowing thin stock.

BTW, notice my row of dog holes are slightly more "inboard" than they would be if the bench had a tail vise.

Photos of a face planing set up to follow.