Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Journal Time Again

I had a cardiac ablation done Monday morning. The rest of the day was spent in the Cardiac Recovery Room and then over night on the Cardiac floor. The procedure went well, the only bad part was having to lay flat on my back for two hours after coming out from under general anesthesia and a slightly sore throat.

I'll be off until Monday week (Texan for March 2nd). That is the good news, the bad is I'm not to lift anything over 10 lbs during that time. The Woodcraft Spring used tool sale/swap meet is this Saturday and odds are I will miss it.

One observation,  the nurses have become very young and most have a large colorful tattoo running down their right forearm. Go figure.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Saddling the Seat

The seat saddling is getting close, I've almost finished with the travisher. Card scrappers next.

I've found two different forms of travisher available, one with horns and one without.

Of the two, the one on the right without horns gives better control and I use it for travisher finish work. The horned travisher in my hands is better for the roughing out. Of course YMMV.

BTW, I have not posted in awhile, click 'em to big 'em.

On to a completely different subject:

A friend from work came by yesterday, he had a, best guess, 1960's Stanley #5 and a few Home Depot Stanley chisels with him. Matt wanted to learn how to set up the plane and sharpen iron.

The plane was in good shape other than just a little surface rust and frog screws put in by Conan. The cutter? First it was without any camber and someone had kinda sharpened it using the "ruler trick" on the back. Nothing really wrong with using the ruler trick but if you want a flat back it takes grinding the bevel back to get rid of it. I did grind the bevel but only enough to give a proper "Jack" plane camber. After a little sharpening and showing Matt how to set the plane up he made a few passes with it and afterwards had a big smile.

The chisels were better than I expected, the backs were flat with a slight hollow in the middle and they had a nice flat bevel with very little hollow. After showing Matt how to hold the chisel's back and bevel on the stones and what to feel and look for, he did a good job sharpening. I've not a clue how good the chisels are but they might be a good starter set.

Last was advice on buying a couple of stones to get started, which were a medium India and a hard Arkansas with a strop. If money is a factor a two grit course and fine India with a strop will do a good job as well. I'm a sharpening junky but the truth is, while nice and fun to use, all the polishing stones and JNats are not needed to have a good working edge.


Sunday, February 09, 2020

Working On A Chair Seat

I've had a couple of minutes to do something other than sharpen stuff this morning. Some was spent putting things away but I also had a little time to spend on the chair seat. The seat is Red Oak so saddling may take some time. Starting with an Adze to get to depth, then scorp to smooth some and finally Travisher and card scraper to finish. This first part is mostly scut work and this old farts arm can only go so long at one time. There will be progress but it will be slow. The good news is I do not plan a deep saddle but I also want to thin the seat's look so the bad is there may be a lot of work with a plane to go.

The legs are close to ready, once the seat blank is ready the chair should go together quickly. I hope so it has been hanging around the shop much too long.


Monday, February 03, 2020

New JNat

I'm such a sucker for JNats. There is just something about them that touch my soul. Bottom line I ordered a Ohira Range Suita of medium hardness a couple of weeks ago and it arrived today.

I'll need to Cashew Lacquer the bottom and sides but I could not resist putting iron to stone before doing it.

Out of the box:

Slurry from the back of the chisel:

Slurry from the bevel:

It should be a good finishing stone. It makes a slurry very easily and cuts quickly. the finish is a very smooth Kasumi (cloudy finish) with beautiful separation between the soft iron and hard steel.


Sunday, February 02, 2020

Sharpening Grits and Stones

Ok I'm at a loss, my Cardio Ablation isn't until the 17th. and my energy level is such doing much more than sharpening a chisel kicks my butt. That doesn't stop me from thinking and an area I've been thinking about is why do we do the thing that we do when sharpening our cutting tools.

I work from one given, the smoother the cutting edge the longer the edge will stay working sharp. But if length of time isn't a factor how smooth does the edge need to be to work and leave a usable surface. It kinda depends on what you call a usable surface.

I did a quick and dirty test using a post-war Marples 3/4 chisel that I hollow ground to a 25* bevel on the Tormek, mostly because if I wanted to extend the test I could return the chisel to the same condition easily.

Here is the chisel:

And the bevel off the Tormek:

I tested four basic conditions: Honed on a Medium India and then stropped on oiled leather. After testing the cut then stropping on leather with compound. Honed on a Wachita follow by the same stropping protocol. Honed on a Black Arkansas and same stropping protocol. And last honed on a JNat finishing stone with out stropping. BTW, the difference between stropping on oiled leather vs. leather with compound was only in the shine.

Again all subjective but the subjective results were as I expected. The effort to pare was close to the same for all stones and stropping protocols. In a blind test I doubt I could have picked one from another. A tactile feel of the surfaces would have been difficult but there were some very slight difference in feel between the cuts but you would have to work at it to identify which was the smoother.

A visual inspection using a 10X loupe showed a clear progression from the India to the Black Arkansas with no difference between the Arkansas and the JNat.

Bottom line, if longevity isn't a factor, the India and a strop gives a good enough working edge for almost any task. I'll still go to the Black Arkansas or the JNat for final honing but my guess is it isn't necessary for most jobs.


Friday, January 31, 2020

Tool Storage

While I may not go "full Ralph" the chair making tools need a home. Currently they are mostly on a shelf over one of the benches but some are scattered and stored other places. My thinking is to maybe have a tool chest just for chair tools.

That leads to what kind of chest, how big, should it fit under one of the benches or be on wheels, and how "fitted" to the tools. I've made and used both classic western tools chests and Japanese tool chests. They both work, the Japanese is an easier build, the western is prettier (maybe, kinda, depends on your taste).

My western tool chest is stuffed to the gills so it is out but another smaller one could be built. I have an empty Japanese style chest that is used with a portable bench and the motorhome.

I'll spend some time seeing if things will fit but I expect it is a little big and I expect whatever chest I decide on will require a few individual boxes for some of the cutting tools.

BTW, just what I need, another project. Then again I may just go sharpen some chisels and forget about it.


Saturday, January 25, 2020

Moving "Stuff" in the Shop

I've wanted to sell the last bench build, in fact it was built with plans to sell, that time may have passed. I've been working on it in addition to the older bench but because the face vise is so sweet on the new bench it is getting most of the love. The two benches are very similar except the old bench is 7' long vs. 6' for the new and the old bench has a wood screw and parallel guide vs. metal screw and crisscross on the new bench. Other than those two things the benches are pretty much alike.

Because of tool storage I needed/wanted to swap places with the two benches. It was doable by myself because both benches are Moravian and I could remove the slabs then scoot the bases to their new position. It still kicked this old farts ass.

I still have a new BenchCraft Classic Vise screw and a Myers wagon vise on the shelf waiting for a new bench to be built but before that happens I have to lose a bench and it will not be the six footer. If anyone wants a 7' Beech Moravian bench with a Lake Eire wood screw and parallel guide, I have a deal for you.