Saturday, December 23, 2017

On The Road

MsBubba and I are in Houston playing Grandma and Grandpa for the Solstice. It’s 20 hours in the motor home which BTW is the only way to do it. Set the autopilot to 65 mph and relax, 20 hours later hugs and hello.

 Bob, blogger is losing my replies, I wrote two brilliant replies to your comment about the Woodies and it lost both. Go figure, anyway replies will have to wait until we are back in AZ.

Hope all have a safe and happy Solstice Celebration.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Some of The Woodie Daily Users

I left the wood stock Jack and Scrub planes out of this grouping, no reason other than because. I expect in a later post they along with the wood stock Jointer and Fore plane will share the stage.

The coffin smoother on the left is from Steve Voigt. It is a wonderful plane and the most used of this group. Next to it is an older ECE coffin with a double iron, also a very good smoother. Next is a ECE single iron "Gent's" plane which is a great plane if the wood is well behaved. And the last is a newer ECE listed as a Jack plane, as best I can tell the only difference between it and their smoother is the grind of the iron. It works well and is cheap, a real bargain if you are looking for a smoother/jack plane.

The woodies smoothers get about the same utilization as the metal smoothers. There really is no rhyme or reason one is picked up over the other. They all do the job and are are a pleasure to use, pick one.  

Saturday, December 16, 2017

More Smoothers

Today's smoothers are the #4 1/2's. Same story, the LN gets little love for no reason other than it weights too damn much.

It is a shame marketing has convinced the tool buying world that heaver and thicker is better. I know broken record and all that rot.

One of the Stanley's has a Ray Iles cutter the other a Japanese HC laminated iron. Both work very well in older Stanley planes. For now I'm using a Hock cap iron with the Ray Iles iron because good Stanley cap irons are hard to find.

Of the smoothing planes these are the least used, although the one with the Japanese iron is a very sweet working Type 9 and it is becoming my goto plane when I want to put a final finish on a board.


Friday, December 15, 2017

More Bench Planes

Moving on to the #4 sized bench planes.

Like the photo of the #5 planes the daily users are on the left, the shelf sitters are on the right. There are more factors than weight differences between the users vs. the others in this group although weight is a factor.

The three users all have different makes of cutters, from left to right is a Hock O-1, a Japanese laminated HC, and a PM-v11. Of the three, the one I'm most attached to is the Record #4 in the middle. The Record was one of the first planes I bought from Garrett-Wade back in the late 70's. Fine Woodworking had been out for a couple of years, I can't remember where I found my first copy but it changed my life.

At that time there were no stores in Houston with quality wood working tools and only one small hardwood seller. All my early tools were ordered from the Garrett-Wade catalog, most I still have and some will star in later posts.

Of the ones I do not use often, two because of weight, the other two because of the Norris adjuster and complexity. For some reason Norris adjusters and I do not work together well. I've really tried to love both of the LV smoothers as they are very nice and well made planes but for whatever reason (Norris adjuster) the chemistry isn't there, they always seem to be doing the Cotton-eyed Joe when I just want to do the Texas Two Step. Which is a shame because they are really nice planes, maybe I'll make another run around around the dance floor with 'em soon.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Bench Planes

In yesterday's post I published photos of the primary tool storage in the shop. Today I will post photos of some of the most used bench planes.

Because I have and use machines for stock prep, planes above #5 sized get little love in day to day work. The metal #6, #7, and #8 are mostly dust collectors. When there is a need for a plane longer than a #5 I will usually reach for one of the wood stock fore or joiner planes. The woodies are a pleasure to use because of the feel of wood on wood and their light weight. Light weight is a recurring theme in my chose of planes for use.

Here is a photo of a number of my #5 planes:

The three on the left are the most used ones. the right three get little to no use and mostly set in the plane till or on one of the shelfs away from the main workbench. The reason the left three are the users mostly comes down to the weight of the planes. The LN and the Wood River are very heavy, the third plane is a Stanley Bedrock. The Bailey design is a better plane than the Bedrock (YMMV).

The three users have different shaped cutters, one with a straight edge and only a slight relief of the corners. The other two have cambered irons, one with what I call a "jack plane" camber and the other about half way between the jack camber and straight. I find the mid camber very useful for squaring the edges of boards. If I were culling the herd the six planes could be replaced with just one with three cutters with little loss of utility.

The three #5 Bailey's are type 13 or older and are the most used planes in the shop. One is a type 9 with a low knob and is my personal favorite. I can not think of a project one or all of them has not touched.

The smoothers tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bench Planes

I'm always looking for an excuse to post photos of the shop. Over on the SMC site one of the posters has given the perfect excuse by requesting posts on the "7" daily user planes.

Because I prep most of my stock with machines I will seldom use seven planes on any single project. So my thought was to post an overview of the shop's tool storage followed by photos of some of the planes grouped by usage. Showing the ones I use along with planes in the same group that are not used for whatever reason.

To start here is the tool storage behind the main workbench:

Storage to the left of the main workbench also over the sharpening bench:

Storage on the right side of the main bench:

The tool chest;

While this is not all the tool storage in the shop, there is still the "tool room" aka known as Fibber McGee's closet. it is the majority of the tools I use daily or on any project. BTW, I've been on a quest for several years to cull the herd with little success.

A look at the individual tool to follow in a later post.


Tuesday, December 05, 2017


I've been reading C.S.'s posts on workbench build personalities on Unplugged Shop. It is funny mostly because I can see bits of myself and/or friends in each of the posts. One of the replies to a C.S.'s post mentioned White's new fangled design workbench.

As it is 0300 here in the desert and I do not have anything better to do, other than get ready to go sit in a black box for four hours, I decided to exercise my google foo and find out about this "new fangled" design. Seems White worked for Fine Woodworking and published plans and an article on his workbench design. It also seems at least some folks build benches based on his plans, there was at least one video.

My only question is: Was the article published in the April issue of Fine Woodworking?

Remember the workbench build mantra: Build it quickly, simple, heavy, and cheap, then go to work making furniture.

BTW, I re-hung the leg vise on the sharpening bench last night so I can play with it before building the new/replacement portable bench. After I make a couple of mods to see if I can make the vise smoother in operation it, the vise chop and screw, will come off the sharpening bench to wait for the new portable bench to be built.

Have I ever mentioned I really enjoy making workbenches or at least I must because I've built so many of 'em. I'm out of room in the shop, back garden, and friends to give 'em to....What to do, what to do?

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Shave Horse

I've spent the last couple of days building a shave horse. I've wanted one for years and had almost decided on just whipping out the AmEx and doing it the quick and easy way.

But I had a couple of kinda free days and two DF 12' 2X12's left over from painting the house. I figured even with all the mistakes I'd make following plans, have I ever told you how much I hate following someone else's plans, there would be enough DF to make a shave horse.

I wasn't too far off, there is a lot of scrap and firewood but not much of the DF left. Anyway lots of screwups, do overs, and I don't give a damns it is good enough, in the build. Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike working to plans? I thought so.

Whatever, it works like a champ but I expect I'll use it for awhile to see what mods it needs and then build another out of nicer wood.