Sunday, September 29, 2019

Playing with Iron

Well the vise install was a bust. I've put all the wood back in the wood pile and there is no project other than MsBubb's kickwheel pending and the kickwheel build will require a woodstore trip.

Time to work at the sharpening bench. First up was the Steve Voigt double iron coffin smoother. Steve is making some of the best (and maybe only) double iron wood stock planes you can buy and he is a nice guy. If you have any interest in woodies show Steve some love, you will not regret it. Anyway the other day I noticed it was dragging a little and sure enough when I looked at the cutter a couple of spots looked back.

Iron sharp, I usually don't "test" a sharpened iron but the little smoother is such a joy to use I had to take a pass or two. The cut is slightly heavy on the left side but other than that this is how I like a plane to work.

I also dug out a couple of Veritas planes, the old style smoother and the new modular smoother. I really want to love both planes but I can't get past the Norris adjuster. Doesn't mean I will not keep trying but so far no joy. At least their cutters are sharp when I put 'em away.

Of the new Japanese chisels from Stan all are now sharp and ready to work except the two smallest bench chisels. I used one of the larger chisels to split out the tenon cheeks on the vise backer board the other day. A really nice chisel.

Off to Costco to spend my paycheck😁,


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Installing BenchCrafted Classic Screw and CrissCross

As I posted earlier the new BenchCrafted screw and crisscross was waiting on me when I came home last night. To install it on the shop Moravian bench will require making a new backer board and chop. I found a 12/4 hunk of what looks like Red Oak that is long enough and wide enough to make both the chop and backerboard buried deep in the wood pile. Otherwise I would have had to do a couple of glue ups or made a wood store run. Of course once I replace all the wood I had to move to get to the Red Oak I may wish I had just made a wood run.😅

Both pieces are cut out with a true edge and face. The bottom tenon on the backer board is next. Here is a photo of splitting out the tenon.

I'll probably bore you'll with a tick tock of retrofitting a Benchcrafted screw and crisscross on an existing Moravian bench. That is if I can remember to take photos as the job progresses.


Update: It ain't gonna happen. The backerboard is about 6mm too short. The only way to make it work is major mods and it is not worth it. The wood screw works fine, just not a fast as the BenchCrafted with a crisscross. Oh well I now have a vise screw looking for a bench. I guess there is only one answer, build another bench.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Alright Guy

The title of this sucky blog came from a Gary Allen song from many years ago. I changed it from "Alright Guy" to "I'm a OK Guy" but bottom line that's where the title comes from. What made me think about it was on the way home Pandora played it. First time I had heard the song in years. BTW, nice memories.

Anyway here is a link, if interested: Alright Guy

My BeachCrafted vise screw and crisscross were waiting at the door when I made it home from work. Good timing as I have the weekend off.


Thursday, September 26, 2019


Richard Maguire over at The English Woodworker is selling his main workbench. While a completely different design vs. the Moravian bench he made a couple of statements that struck a chord.

The first was about the design: "I first designed this workbench to be a nice back to basics thing.

It was when everyone first started wanting bling on every corner of their benches. I wanted to try and make a point that the best benches had less, but what they did have was well thought out and worked."

The second was about the dimensions of the bench: "The workbench is 7 ft long, 2 ft wide and 34 inch tall. (2.1m x 600mm x 860mm) The top is 3 inch (76mm) thick..." Which are the basic dimensions I've settled into for my benches.

Two different designs that converge to make the same basic tool. BTW, his bench breaks down as well.

If I lived in the UK I'd be whipping out my AmEx.


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

More Bread

Portuguese corn bread. It is a heavy little sucker, first time making and followed the recipe. Depending of taste and texture once it cools and if I decide it is worth making again I'll play with the amount of sugar and yeast.

Whatever it looks good and smells great.

BTW, I have a pot of fresh beans in the fridge. One of my favorite meals is fresh beans and old fashion farm cornbread, with a big slice of sweet onion and a hunk of cheese. For an old guy like me that no longer wants to chase women, it just doesn't get any better.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Outside Table

MsBubba wanted a table for the back garden. I had the abandoned base for her original desk sitting around so why not make a really bad top for it and paint the whole thing red.

Here is the result:

Don't look too closely it all falls under the 5 ft. or is it 10 ft. rule and even to those standards my excuse is it is a Shabby Chic table and I did it on purpose. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Sunday, September 15, 2019

Moravian Workbench For Sale

A recently completed Moravian workbench for sale: $1600 USD FOB Tucson, AZ. 

The bench has a Poplar base with a Beech Slab and a BenchCrafted Classic vise screw with BC crisscross and a Beech chop. It is sized for a smaller shop with slab length 73 1/4" (1860mm), width 14 1/2" (365mm), thickness 3 1/2" (90mm), and the bench is 34 1/4" (860mm) high. The full length tool tray is 11 3/4" (275mm) wide giving a total bench width of 25 1/4" (860mm). The bench has a light coat of Tung oil finish.

The bench has been lightly used, it is very stable and works a treat, the BC vise is especially slick and fast and has the best holding power of any vise I've used. I'm selling this bench and a French/English bench to free up shop room.

A Moravian bench will break down into modules, Each module (with the exception of the lower shelf, four screws) can be taken apart and put back together with no tools other than a hammer or mallet and each is light enough and small enough to be carried by one person, even the slab can be moved without help.

The Moravian bench offers the stability of a much heavier bench like a Roubo and nearly the portability of a Workmate.


Sunday Bread

With the new bench finished and just putting up "stuff" in the shop I have a little time for life. One of the pleasures is good food and bread is a key building stone of eating well.

Here are two loafs fresh out of the oven:

There are crab cakes waiting to be cooked and MsBubba has asked for "Ranch" fries, those with a fresh green salad should take care of food needs for today.

I posted the new bench for sale in a couple of places today, we will see what happens.


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tool Rack Part II

I added a tool rack to the bench this AM. After a couple of weeks of posting the bench is finished, it really is now. The tool rack even has a coat of Tung oil, you can't get more finished than that.


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tool Rack

I've decided to do one more thing to the new bench before calling it finished. I like a tool rack on the back side of the working slab. It will be a quick job, just a long piece of Beech with three or four spacers and a trim of the tool tray so it all fits.

My thinking for now is once that is done I will put the new Moravian bench and the French/English bench up for sale. Because the Moravian has a couple of cosmetic blemishes (nothing that affects its strength or function) I will offer it for $1600 USD FOB Tucson. Because it breaks down and will fit on a pallet shipping cost should be reasonable. The French/English bench is another story, I expect it will need to sell to someone with a truck and within driving distance of Tucson. I'm asking $2200 USD for it also FOB Tucson.

The reason for selling the benches is I need the room and I have plans to build another Moravian with a Oak base and slab TBD that is slightly larger than the new bench.


Monday, September 09, 2019

Bench Shelf Installed

Installed a shelf on the long stretchers of the new bench. It is pretty much the same as the shelf on the shop Moravian, just a little shorter.

    from the other side:

Except for the end slats the slats are loose with a little "play" between slats. We are nearing the end of monsoon season which is our highest RH of the year so wood movement shouldn't be a problem.

This more or less finishes the bench. About the only other thing I might add is a tool rack on the back side of the slab. I'll live with the bench for a bit before deciding if a rack is needed.


Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Blogger Eating My Reply

MsBubba, Sweet Maggie Dog, and I are in the wilds of southern AZ, so close to the Mexican border our cell phones have welcomed us to Mexico. It is hard to believe but the State Park has functioning WiFi, that is the good news. The bad is Blogger ate all my posts.

I tried twice to post a well composed, witty, and informative reply to Ralph, Blogger ate both. I’ll try once more:, not as well composed nor witty: I’ve used a notched guide to dill one or two dog holes with success before. I can think of only a couple of things that could go wrong, you did not marry the drill and the notch or the sides of the notch were not vertical. Just one dog hole? Ain’t no way, I use too many dogs, stops, battens, and holdfasts to get by with just one. While the vise is used, other ways to hold work are used more.


Sunday, September 01, 2019

Dog Holes Drilled

Dog Holes Drilled:

It's 1000 in the desert and I'm already on a 15 minute work 15 minute cool off schedule. A couple of honeydoes first then I expect it will be geeking, pool time and maybe a little time on the sharpening bench working on some new Japanese chisels until the Sun goes down.


Drilling Dog Holes

I'm drilling two rolls of dog holes. The one on the end that is separated from the others is to hold a Veritas Wonder Dog for use when I need an end vise, it doesn't happen often enough to go to the trouble and expense of either a wagon or end vise install. The Wonder dog will usually take care of those needs without being in the way when not needed.

Next are ledgers on the long stretchers to hold a bottom shelf. I still have not decided on a backside tool rack. Also still undecided is either a deadman or most likely a bench jack.

The bench has one light application of Tung oil. Over the next few weeks as the oil dries there may be a couple more added.

Other changes are I'm ordering a BC Classic screw and 14" crisscross for the other bench. The portable bench may keep the wood screw.