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.


Thursday, January 23, 2020

When I'm not working in the shop I sharpen

It is a sickness, even though I'm not a metal worker nor can I stand endless rubbing of the backs of cutters to flatten them, I have a sharpening jones.

Over on SMC there is a thread on Ark stones. I decided to expand it to include JNats. Here is what I published.

While natural stones have been around much longer than synthetic stones they are not as easy to classify and to understand. The other thread on the forum about Ark stones sent me to the shop this afternoon to check a couple of things out. I like natural stones for honing and polishing and will normally use man made stones to grind. For grinding the most important thing is speed with less importance for the scratch pattern as long as it isn't too deep or inconsistent. For honing and polishing speed is pretty far down the list, what is important is the scratch pattern. How deep, how steep, and how random the scratches left by the stone are the three things that determine the quality of the cutting edge.

Synthetic stones are easy, a 5,000 or 10,000 grit stone is, within reason, pretty much like any other stone of the same grit. So the sharpening process is easy to figure out, a 1000 grit to grind, a 5000 grit to hone and a 8000/10000 to polish and it makes little never mind what make of stones you use. Heresy I know, one of the reasons civil wars are so ugly is because they are fought over such small differences.

With natural stones grit has no meaning. Sometimes you will see a grit range assigned to a stone but what that is telling you is the stone may give a finish similar to a synthetic stone of that grit range. The only real test is to take metal to stone and see what it does.

With Ark stones specific gravity can be a good starting point, the higher the specific gravity the finer the stone will usually cut. With JNats hardness can be a clue but so many things can affect the quality of the finish the only way to know if a stone is a soul mate is to use it. The reason for that is in the structure of a JNat. A synthetic stone is made of sized grit particles that break free during the sharpening process and while they will break down some they remain more or less square particles. A JNat cutting particles are flake like and while they do not change much in size in the slurry they do get thinner and because they are flake like the scratch pattern is smoother.

This is just my opinion with nothing to back it up but one of the reasons synthetic stones give such a shinny surface is because of their sharp sided scratches. With JNats some of the most prized stones leave a Kasumi or cloudy surface. In fact my favorite JNat finishing stone isn't very hard but it makes slurry very easily and leaves a beautiful Kasumi finish and edges that last a long time.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

New Chisels

I've started prepping the new chisels. It is going even slower that the normal very slow, unlike some of us I'm not much of a metal worker. Fifteen or so minutes on the stones at time is about my limit before I have to find something else to do. Then throw in the fact you can remove a lot of skin before you realize you are abrading your thumb along with the back of the chisel. Whatever, the 24mm is done and back in its box and I'm typing this with a very sore right thumb.

Not much other than working on the chisels is getting done in the shop. The AFeb is keeping me ragged out but finally some joy on scheduling the next step.

After hours on the phone with the scheduler I finely got moved to the head of the line and have a Doc's appointment tomorrow at 1300. Not a clue when the ablation will be scheduled but I'll bet in a day or two. While the procedure will be a PITA with an expected several weeks recovery period I'm ready to get it over with.


Saturday, January 18, 2020

Made Bread

I made a couple of loafs of bread this morning. One was a thank you for our friend Robyn who did the transport duties last Wednesday. MsBubba is/was in Houston for the first grand kid's Bday so Robyn stepped up to the plate.

My plan for the day was to bake the bread, then prep a couple of the new chisels and when I needed a break from chisel prep to work on saddling the new chair seat. Wrong flour breath, just after putting the bread in the oven I noticed my legs felt heavy and I was out of breath, Damn, damn, damn, I did a quick BP check and my pressure was down and heart rate was just under 100 bpm (my normal is low to mid 60 bpm). Bottom line I'm back in AFib and all the shop plans went out the window.

Monday back to the Doc's for an EKG and I expect go on to plan B.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Journal Post

As posted before, I use this blog as a journal to record "life" things as well as entries about things that interest me. Seems lately there have been a number of "life" posts. 

I've been in AFib since just before the holidays and my meds have not worked to convert back to a normal sinus rhythm. After an EKG on Friday and another on Monday the Doc's decided to set me up for a Cardioversion Wednesday morning.

MsBubba is in Houston visiting the kids so I've had to impose on a friend (Robyn) to do the transport duties. Bottom line, Hospital by 0700 Wednesday, off to LaLa land and a little electricity, A couple hours latter Robyn will drive me home for the rest of the day off, geeking or watching TV.

BTW, getting old sucks,


Thursday, January 09, 2020

Mentori and Kakuuchi Oiirenomi

The new chisels are Kakuuchi Oiirenomi vs. the more common Mentori Oiirenomi. The biggest difference is the hard steel extends up the side of chisel and there is no bevel on the sides much like a western firmer chisel.

A photo of the two bevels, the Kakuuchi chisel on the right has not been sharpened so it is a little duller looking.

In this photo and the next you can see the bevel of the Mentori vs. no bevel on the Kakuuchi chisel.

The two chisels from the side.

I expect it will take a couple of weeks to prep and sharpen the new chisels, no need to rush things 😇.


New Chisels

The Postman delivered the new chisels from Japan this afternoon. As always if Stan has the tools in stock his turn times are great. I've just unwrapped 'em and had a quick look see and I like what I see. My guess is they will stay in the box for a bit until I can find room in one of the chisel racks.

Whatever, here is a photo of the chisels and the box they came in:

They sure are pretty when new. White Oak is a little stronger than Red Oak but in use it gets pretty groudy.


Wednesday, January 08, 2020


It is a sickness, a sickness I tell you. I emailed Stan the other day to wish him a happy new year and ended up ordering a box of chisels. The chisels should be here in a few days, then I have to find a place to hang 'em. That may be the hardest part of the whole process.

Kakuuchi style chisels are more like a short western firmer chisel where the Oiirenomi is like a bench chisel. I really like firmer chisels so how could I resist.

Anyway photos when they arrive,


Monday, January 06, 2020

MsBubba's Mom Is Dead

We received word MsBubba's Mom Ann died in her sleep last night. Ann was in her mid nineties and has been going down hill for the last several years. Her death has been expected and there is no need for condolences. As I have posted before this blog also serves as my journal and this is a journal entry.

Ann December 2014:

Ann and George:


Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Chair Work, Seat Blank

Working on the seat. Lots of end grain work as well as long grain to get it shaped. Almost all the planes, spoke shaves, in-shaves, travishers, card scrapers, and sharpening stones will come out to play by the time the seat is finished. Of course the first thing to finish will be my arms 👦, I'm such a wuss.

The leg tenons are turned and ready to be fitted once the mortises are drilled.  That may be awhile as I expect the seat will take several days, a bit of whisky, some cussing and a lot of questioning "why in hell did I decide to make the seat out of dry Red Oak".

BTW, this is the first use of the new #3 Clifton, while it is a heavy sucker, it is kinda nice. The old Stanley #3 was chattering a little (I know sharpen it up and/or take a lighter cut) where the Clifton was like a train on the cut.

Hope all had a good New Years eve and here is to an even better New Year.