What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

So, what's new?

Nada much. Just burning up the time until Christmas. Spare time has predominantly been used for shopping and family activities. Nothing wrong with that though. Life is too short not to enjoy the ones around you.

This weekend took that spirit. So with temperatures in the low 60's and a lake in the park across the street it was time for some water sliding and general mucking around.

Took the better part of a day to remove all the errant grass cuttings from eyes, ears, and wherever else they got to. It was good to get out and play in the water. I haven't had a good water slide session in years. Austin started to catch on, but for the most part he was either doing a power slide on his knees or a face plant. Faith was happy to tromp around and dunk her lower half ever once in a while. Erin and Zoey sat on the sidelines for most of the fun. Poppy decided that water wasn't too bad and her natural instinct of a water dog took over. She was swimming, running, and jumping around in wet doggie bliss. Add a few beers and a movie to wrap up Saturday.

Sunday we were treated with an unexpected slumber. Erin and I both stirred, heard the kids playing, but decided to snooze. We were a little shocked to find it 11am by the time we got up. Pretty rare to get that kind of rest around these parts. After coffee it was time to tackle the leaky faucet in the kids tub. Hmmm, where is the darn water shut-off valve for this house??

Under the frog of course! After a bit of poking around I found the water shutoff. It is down a terracotta tube behind our poky hedge. With all the bugs and such out here I don't typically go sticking my hand into holes in the ground. I did here and was rewarded with a slimy tree frog. So I called for reinforcements. No, just called the kids. Got to spend a few minutes passing the frog around. Then back to work. I got the faucet patched up best possible, it has some internal pitting so it still leaks in some handle positions. I am not really sure where the rest of the day went, went it did go.

Nothing major in the garage. I had a package come in yesterday. Erin gave me the stink eye on it, but I snuck off to the garage to inspect my new-old Stanley No608 jointer plane. This thing is a beast. It is the biggest cast iron plane Stanley ever produced. Close to 10lb of heft and 24in in length. Side by side it drawfs my No7.

Not entirely sure on the age, but I am guessing it is a type14 plane manufactured 1929-1930. I have to do a bit more reading to confirm though. It was delivered "sharp and ready to put to work". We'll see soon enough. Hopefully I can get some woodworking done over the Holiday break.

take care...

Merry Christmas everyone.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Family Portrait

Well, what were you really expecting to see? :)
Last weekend I managed to sneak in enough time in the garage to complete the refinishing of my great grandfather's No6 fore plane. I will most likely give it it's own photo shoot after I lap the sole flat. At any rate, with it looking so pretty and after a couple of additions to my arsenal I figured it was a good time to take a new group shot.

Back Row (L-R):
1 - Sandusky coffin smooth plane, pre-1900's
2 - Stanley No78 rabbit plane, likely from the 1940-1960's
3 - Stanley No40 scrub plane, 1920-1940
4 - Stanley No7 jointer plane, type11, 1910-1918
5 - Stanley No6 fore plane, type6, 1888-1892
6 - Stanley No5 jack plane, type18, 1946-1947
7 - Stanley No4 smooth plane, type11, 1910-1918
8 - Stanley No3 smooth plane, type17, 1942-1945
9 - LieNielsen medium shoulder plane, 2007-2008

Front Row (L-R):
1 - Stanley No80M cabinet scraper, Sweet Heart era 1919-1932
2 - Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane, 2008

Not pictured:
1 - Stanley No29 transitional fore plane, 1867-1909
2 - Ohio Tool wooden jack plane, unknown age
3 - Stanley No4 smooth plane, type17, 1942-1945
4 - Stanley No5 jack plane, type12-13, 1919-1928
5 - Stanley No608 jointer plane, type14, 1929-1930

Wow, they weren't kidding when they said that getting into hand tools and restoration is a slippery slope. I don't think I ever stopped and took inventory before just now. Simply shocking that over a dozen of these things have followed me home. The only saving grace is that most didn't start out looking pretty. The ugly duckling factor keeps the bidding low over at e-bay so most of these planes were under $20. After the elbow grease each is capable of pulling $50-100 at auction. Not a bad return on investment. Of course I have no plans of setting any of these loose any time soon. Gotta get my money's worth out of them or Erin is gonna have my head :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Go Elf Yourself

Erin and I put this together last night with the help of Office Max. We were cracking up at the way it turned out. Hope you like it.

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

If you get bored I recommend trying it yourself.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend review

Not much woodworking this weekend. My sister Shannon was in town. To top that we had the company Christmas party and some holiday decorating to tend to.

I did sneek into the garage for an hour or two in the afternoon while Erin and Austin were watching a play of the Christmas Carol in town. It was interesting trying to keep an eye on Faith and get some lumber milled. She was pretty cute other than the yelling. She would post up on the lawn mower with ear plugs and glasses (yes, it is currently in the garage for repair). From her mower perch she would yell random things at me.

I am trying to get up some sort of a simple mantle for the living room so that we have a spot to hang the stockings. So I eyed out some simple mantles on google images. I figured that I could use some of the offcut pieces of poplar since the mantle will be limited to 44in. So I picked out a couple of the boards, checked grain direction, and marked them up. Bandsaw to rip to jointer width. Jointed 1 face and 1 edge. Back to the bandsaw to rip the width. Planed to thickness of about 1.5in. Then I glued the 2 boards together.

I ended up with a 50in x 10.5in glue-up that I can trim to finish size. In typical Erin form she informs me that she doesn't want to have something that looks like a shelf. It needs to be bigger, more substantial. Yet again I find myself building to suit the Mrs. It is hard to plan ahead since our personal preferences are so different.

Oh well, off to put up the Christmas tree. Faith was very helpful in handing me branches for our fake tree. I am not sure how many more years it has in it. For us with young kids and puppy dogs running around it is just a safer bet to use the fake again this season. We got the tree up just about the time that Erin and Austin got home.

Just a good'Ol family weekend here. Hope everyone else is doing well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Boy Scouts at work


Out in the shop, week in review

Nothing too exciting around the shop this week. I worked Friday, so no long Holiday weekend for me. We weren't overly festive this year anyhow. I actually marinated and grilled some steaks for our Thanksgiving dinner. Saturday was house cleaning. I did get a chance to finish up sharpening and tuning the Sandusky woodie.

Finally Sunday afternoon I got some shop time. Ended up spending half that time sitting there scratching my head. Then the other half doubting the decisions made in the first half. Check out this thread for details of that mess.
Here is a shot of the pile of rough poplar in question

Still scratching my head a bit, but think the route forward is in motion. I am most concerned with conservation of thickness, so ripping to jointer width on the bandsaw is going to be the best path forward.

Last night I finally got the Woodcraft low speed grinder out of the box. Initial impressions are mixed. The speed and noise are good. The narrow format, thin guards, and cheap tool rests leave some to be desired.

The stock tool rests are finished by paint or powder coat over the rough cast iron. Cast iron is good. The weight will help damp out some of the vibration. The rough finish is not so good. Another noteworthy trait is that these tool rests are tiny. They may be fine for chisels, but I wouldn't trust my ability to keep a wide iron flat instead of teetering off the edge.

So I have devised a plan to pilfer the tool rests off my high speed grinder. They have a lot more surface to register on.

I just need to decide the best route to attach the parts. I am leaning towards JB Weld or Epoxy. I started to go the drill and tap path, but thought better. The cast parts stand a fair chance or cracking during the process. It would also lead to holes in both rests that could collect abrasives or catch on tools I am working. Since this isn't a high stress application I think it is fine to go the epoxy route. Eventually I would like to make or purchase independent tool rests, but with the holidays coming that will have to wait a while.

I think the high speed grinder is a good candidate for buffing duty. It has a much wider stance at the arbor mounts. This conversion would also be good since I am borrowing the tool rests for the new grinder.

That's all I got for this edition. Look for progress on that rough lumber in the next go round, a grinder update, and maybe some more discussion of the sharpening station. Thanks for reading.