Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It's All Ralph's Fault

As I posted several days ago Ralph over at Accidental Woodworker posted about his Record 44 troubles and I mentioned wood stock plows in a comment. Anyway cut to the chase, I've been obsessed with wood plows since. That inter tool collector I defeated several years ago came back in spades.

Right now I have three new plows to go along with the old work horse Sandusky and three more in transit plus two with bids out that I expect will be mine in a couple of days. That is the bad news, the good is all but two cost about the same or less that the shipping to get 'em to Tucson.

Here are a couple of less that $25 USD + postage plow planes. Both are wedge arm, I guess that makes them cheaper but truth is for some uses I like the wedge arm plows more than screw arm plows. Wedge arms are a little easier and quicker to set but are also easier to knock out of adjustment.

The plow on the left will eventually need one of the arm wedges replaced and it came with an iron that is much thinner than my Marple irons. I adjusted the wedge and the skate to work with the thicker Marple irons and it works like a champ.

The plow on the right needed a little more work. Its wedge didn't fit. I'm sure there may be a plow with a wedge less than 5/8" wide but I haven't seen one. This one's wedge couldn't have been over 1/2" wide. Needless to say it would not secure the iron. It's arm wedges were also funky in one of the wedges wasn't wide enough to wedge and it had a stick to help it hold and the other was not the correct shape for an arm wedge. Bottom line to get the plane to work properly I had to make a new cutter wedge and two new arm wedges. All three wedges were made from some Cherry scraps.

Both planes are now good users.

BTW, one of the plows in transit has a full set of original irons and the other has four irons with it. They cost slightly more than postage to get 'em here :-).

I'm still beavering away on the kitchen cart. The major joinery work is finished except for that needed for the bottom shelf and a single drawer. Both will be reasonably easy. The bottom shelf will use shallow double M/T joints and the drawer a dovetail box with a front. Because the cart will be in the kitchen and who knows what kind of crap will be in the drawer I'll use full extension metal slides on it. 

From the side:

Now it is just finding time to finish.

One more thought: These are some of the best fitting large M/T joints I've made. I think some of it is I've slightly changed how I mark and chop mortises. Instead of trying to chop perfect walls I've started marking the mortise slightly wide and chopping in the middle of the marks. Then placing a wide paring chisel into the marks to finish the mortise walls. Works great, thanks to Joel at TFWW for the suggestion.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

An OF's Night of Stories

As I posted the other day I'm doing the initial Sim training for an old friend/crew member and his partner. We finished the training yesterday morning and all they have left to do is the Type Ride Flight Test in a couple of days. Last night we had them over for whisky and hamburgers.

Of course after the hamburgers the whisky led to "there I waz" and "can you believe this idiot I used to fly with" stories while we set around a fire on the patio. Some of the stories included flying a dead Muslim and his family to catch a 747 out of KJFK not too long after 9/11 and riding on a 2X6 plank in the back of a Cushman trike, after midnight, through the jungles of  Columbia, with about $10,000 USD cash in my pocket for 5 or 6 miles to clear customs.  Both times Arturo was as jumpy as the cat in a room of rockers. It was a damn good night and even MsBubba enjoyed the stories, mostly because she figured in many of 'em.

As we were saying our good nights, MsBubba said "There were a lot of stories I've never heard before". After all these years that doesn't happen often, most of the time it is an eye roll and "there he goes again".


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Kitchen Cart and Other Things

Slow but some progress being made on the kitchen cart. Work gets in the way of life most of the time. This week is interesting, one of my clients was my F.O. for several years back at the turn of the Century. He, Ms.Bubba, and a Paramedic made up the flight crew for most of the fights durning that time. BTW, it was the best job I had in over 40 years of flying. It didn't pay very much and was long hours but the folks in back needed you and appreciated what you were doing. Not once on any of the med evac flights did I hear a complaint about no WSJ on board or no fresh milk (never cream or half and half) for their coffee. You were flying people in need not privileged assholes.  Sorry for the digression, I loved what I did and it allowed a poor, dumb, West Texas farm boy to see the world. There is no way it could have happened without the privileged assholes.

Anyway back to the kitchen cart. Here's a photo of the top socket for one of the long stretchers. The bottom long stretcher will have a couple of small double M/T joints.

Ralph awoke my inter tool geek with his posts on his Record 44 plow plane.  Curses Ralph :-), you are costing me tons of tool money. For awhile now I've given into a Marples chisel jones which isn't too bad because finding the chisels made during the period I want is a slow process and the cost is low. This one is bad, I'm obsessed with wood stock plows and fillisters. Although for the last buy shipping cost more the the wood stock plow plane. Some of the others I don't want to talk about.

Photos of some of the plows to come later,


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Kitchen Cart

MsBubba wants a roll around cart for the kitchen, of course the answer is "yes dear: how big?" Turns out she wanted one to hold most of the small kitchen appliances, with a couple of drawers and a work surface top.

A couple of weeks ago, or maybe more like a month because of the Houston trip, I dug through the wood pile and found a 12/4 hunk of White Oak that was long enough to use for the legs and enough 5/4 Cherry for the upper aprons. I think there is another board or two of the Cherry to make the lower stretchers and shelf. If not, I'll find/buy something.

The project was kinda put on hold for Flu recovery after returning from visiting the Grandpeanut and the kids, but for the last couple of weeks I've been beavering away. At least my version of beavering away, on the cart.

All the upper mortises are chopped and the associated tenons  have been made. The Cherry was well behaved and the tenons split out very easily with only one cheek needing sawing. The last couple of days have been spent fitting tenon to mortise and I'm down the the last mortise/tenon fit when I shut the shop last night.

A couple of photos, not that you can see much other than my usual messy bench and shop.

Marking the tenons:

Fitting tenon and mortise:

Still a way to go. The bottom shelf will be open, a couple of drawers that I expect will be mounted with metal drawer slides, and a glued up Maple top. I think I'm out of Maple so a trip to the wood store is coming up.

My plan once the cart is finished is to build another travel bench for use during next Fall's PNW trip as the last travel bench has morphed into a sharpening bench.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sam The Shop Dog

Sam the Wonder Dog often becomes Sam the Shop Dog when he wants a rawhide bone. He has learned a sure fire method for getting his bone. First is positioning exactly where I need to stand for what ever process is next, be it working on one end or the other of the bench or sharpening iron. Once in position he will lay down taking as much floor space as possible. Then once I step over him he sits up and gives me the "doggie eye" until the bone is produced. Works every time, the damn dog is smarter than I am.

Here he is enjoying this morning's work:


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Paring Chisels

If you want/need a new paring chisel there are not too many options. Sorby, Narex, Blue Spruce and Japanese are about it for new, otherwise it's boot sales and eBay for used ones.

I have not tried chisels made by Blue Spruce because Blue Spruce uses A2 steel for their blades. For my use A2 has two problems in a paring chisel. The first, A2 doesn't fit my sharpening methods and the second problem is not as great but still a problem with paring chisels is A2 working best with bevel angles of greater than 30 degrees. Except for the A2 I expect the Blue Spruce paring chisels are very good.  The blade looks to be very thin and there are a number of handle options. Maybe some day I will try and fall in love but not today.

Narex chisels tend to be bargains with none of their paring chisels over $37 USD when I checked Lee Valley's site.  This is personal preference but Narex handles are big and clunky. I just can't get comfortable holding one. Of course YMMV. The other "problem" with Narex paring chisels is the thickness of the blade, I like/want a thin pattern maker's blade for paring use.

If you like Japanese chisels the "push" chisels from many makers can be very good paring chisels. I have a number of Japanese push chisels and use them often.

The paring chisel that tickles all my chisel G spots are from Robert Sorby. Sorby paring chisels have a wonderful long thin blade like a turn of the last Century pattern maker's chisel and is made of a HC steel that is easy to sharpen and holds a good edge. The boxwood handle is both pleasing to the eye and hand and the chisel has near perfect balance. If you can't tell I really like Sorby paring chisels.

A couple of photos of some of the Sorby chisels with some Japanese push chisels:

We have lost or almost lost a couple of chisel types that I find very useful. The first of course is the paring/pattern maker's and the second is firmer chisels in both bench and paring styles. About the only firmer style bench chisel I can find is made by Narex and no one I know of makes a firmer paring chisel. While I'm glad Narex is making a firmer bench chisel they have the same problem all Narex chisels have, a handle only Shaq could love.

BTW, a roll around kitchen cart/work surface is on the bench. Photos when I get just a little farther along in the build.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Woodcraft Parking Lot Tool Exchange

The tool sell/exchange went very well. I was able to sell close to $600USD of my dust collectors including the Stanley 45. I traded a near complete #3 Bedrock for a Stanley #3 and a pig sticker iron for a 5" throw brace for the only extras that followed me home.

I haven't used the brace yet but I sharpened the #3's cutter, found a replacement leaver cap (the one on it was not correct for type and was chrome plated) that while not correct for type was not shiny and put the #3 to work smoothing some Cherry boards I had just finished truing. It worked like a champ and I expect it will be my goto #3.

I would expect most folks that come to a woodworking tool exchange to have some basic knowledge of woodworking tools. Apparently not so sawdust breath, I can't tell you how many time someone would pick up say, a marking gauge, and ask what it was used for. Of course that gave me a chance to romance the marking gauge and even sell a few. Marking knifes and squares sold very well and the chisels did OK. What surprised me was all but one of the back saws sold.

I would not want to make a habit of doing boot sales but I did get rid of a few dust collectors and had a pretty good time talking to folks.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Wood Stock Plow Planes

The Veritas Small Plow Plane is a very good metal plow but like all metal plows the shavings are ejected on to the fence. It's not a big deal but you have to be aware of the shavings. BTW, our local Woodcraft is having a tool exchange in its parking lot tomorrow. In the background of the first photo are the tools I'm taking to sell. On the right side is a Stanley 45 complete with all the cutters and in the original box. I've been toting that thing around for 40 or so years. It is an example of a not very good metal plow and I'm tired of the toting and the space it takes up. Damn that was a tasty rabbet (bad I know) back to the subject. Wood stock plows eject the shavings onto the work so they do not foul the fence. Like I said the difference isn't or at least shouldn't be a big deal...But it is to me.

Another not a big deal difference between metal and wood is the cutters of the wood plow are easier to sharpen for no other reason than they are longer and bigger. A big deal difference is the depth stop. On most wood plows it is positive and long. In other words it works and with out worry of slipping. The fence tends to be longer and deeper as well and it is more comfortable to pressure against the work piece. You might get the idea I really like wood plows vs. metal plows :-).

The Sandusky plane on the left is one I've had for a number of years and it works very well. The Auburn Tool Company plow on the right is new to me. I didn't need it but damn it sure is pretty, near mint with just a couple of chips in the threads. Did I mention that it sure is pretty.

Best I can tell from a couple of test cuts there is little difference functionally. I expect I will keep one set up with a #4 iron and the other with a #5 and 90% of the time use the one with the needed cutter.

A glamor shot:

A box of mint Jennings bits came with the plane shipment yesterday. What can I say other than I'm a sick puppy.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Back to Photos of Planes

Before the Winter Solstice break and my bout with the Flu I was slowly working through photos of some of my user planes. The last photo posted was of the wood stock smoothing planes that are most used. Today's post will be of some of the joinery planes.

While these planes are not used every day, most will be used on every project. Not included in this photo are the wood stock joinery planes. There is a wood stock plane option for each of the planes other than the router and the match planes. The woodies are used about equally to the others but lately the wood plow has been getting a little more love than the Veritas plow.

I found and ordered a beautiful Auburn Tool Co Rosewood and Boxwood plow today, my late Winter Solstice gift from me. I know, I need another plane of any kind like the well known hole but it is a sickness....My name is ken and I'm a toolaholic... But whatever, it sure is pretty.  Photo when it arrives.


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Last Week

Last Week was a tough one, I had the Flu but worse than the Flu was the anger and embarrassment. I can and will recover from the Flu. I doubt I will ever recover from the anger and embarrassment.