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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sports fan?

Nah, but this video is too cool. If it is all actually real it is doubly impressive.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

re-post freehand honing/blade preparation

I have tried a few different methods over the last few months to flatten blades. Here is my go-to method for flattening the back of a new blade.

Adhere some sandpaper to a flat surface. I prefer 3M super77 and a granite surface plate for the substrate.

Use 60-80g until you have a uniform scratch pattern. I prefer Norton 3X 80g at this phase. It is a fast cutter and the paper is thick, so it is easy to install and remove from the granite.

Next comes the 220g w/d. Generally I can get away with using it dry. Again, go for a uniform scratch pattern. I typically try to rotate 90 degrees from the previous pattern, so I know when I have removed all previous scratches.

Onto 400g w/d. Again, remove all previous scratches. I will start to do random motion at this point and lighter pressure once the 220g scratches are worked out. At this point you will begin to pick up a mirror finish.

Next comes 1000g w/d. You know the routine. Remove the scratches. At this time you will have a decent mirror polish going. It is about equivalent to my hard black Arkansas stone.

At this point I will go back and work over the primary bevel. On a new Hock blade or a previously prepped blade I usually can go to the 400 and back to 1000g.

Black Arkansas back, secondary bevel, then strop using green rouge.

Going freehand and by this routine doesn't give as pretty of an edge as going up through 8000g waterstones using an eclipse jig. But you know it is pretty liberating to ditch the training wheels. I have noticed no decline in cut quality or sharpness of the finished blade. This method is also fairly easy to apply to heavily cambered blades, just add a wrist roll to the regime.

At the end of the day I still need more practice. But I am looking forward to the day that I don't feel attached to a sharpening jig.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New shop tour

Decided it was high time to update my shop tour. Don't laugh too hard as I dork out and explain my way through the shop.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sentimental Plane Restoration Complete

Back at the end of November my Father rolled into town. He had brought a truck-load of booty from California. Amongst the junk from my childhood was a N06 that had belonged to my Great Grandfather. It was rusted, missing the knob, tote cracked into about 4 pieces, and had not likely cut a shaving in more than 30 years. I really should have taken a picture as I received the plane. To date it is the crustiest plane that I have brought back to life.

This afternoon I prepped a blade for it. It isn't vintage. In fact the blade is from a type16 plane. But since I am cambering it heavily and using this No6 as a true fore plane I figured this is a moot point. The later planes have thicker irons which will work out adventaegously. Here is a shot of the cambered and sharpened blade. I may need to open up the mouth a bit to accomodate the thick shavings.

It didn't clog with my testing this afternoon. If it bugs me I will adjust it. As it is I am impressed with the workings of this plane. It cleans up like a scrub, but has a lot more mass and stability. I think I will be spending plenty of quality time with this plane in the near future.

Near as I can tell this is a type6. I have restored it to close to mint parts and function.

Hopefully this tool will last a few more generations...

edit 1/21 okay, I managed to dig up a partial before image
Here it is in the Evapo-rust and it gives some clue what I mean by crusty...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

So long as I am being a geek...

Well, what's new there.

Check this out
Grizzly Shop Planner
It is a fun little flash layout tool designed to help you figure out where you can stuff more tools in your shop. It can also be used for home layout as well. Fun stuff. Very quick and easy.

Here is what I worked out from memory on my shop.

What else is new?
I managed to sand off the tip of my thumb again. Seems like every time I have to prep a new blade for a plane that I end up sanding off a bunch of skin. I haven't gone to the point of bleeding, but it sure feels bad for a few days after the fact. I posted over on woodnet and apparently I am not alone in this minor oversight. It is weird, because I don't feel any abrasion while doing it but later when I clean up it hurts. Live and learn.

I have been testing out silicone carbide loose abrasive in the shop. This stuff is fun. Cuts like nobodys business at first and over time fractures into smaller less abrasive particles. I am using it on the bottom of my granite surface plate. It would work better with a cast iron or mild steel substrate, but honestly it works pretty well on the granite. I have a bit more playing around before I have this lapping method dailed, but for now I can say that it is faster and cheaper than sandpaper for flat lapping the plane blades.

That's all I got for now. Probably starting a couple new furniture pieces here in the next week or so, so stay tuned.

And the finished project

Here is the end result on the bench.

1. Size: 101.5x27x36 inches
2. Twin screw front vise with carrier pins to keep the wood off of the screws. Extra points for kid art on the dowels.

Lots of grip. Here is a 9ft board in the vise...

3. Quick release end vise

4. Dog holes, for clamping boards to do surface prep

5. Mass. Bench itself has to be approaching 300lb. In the tubs is about 150lb of sand each. Very solid feel.

6. Knock-down construction. Within about 15 minutes the bench can be disassembled into the main components (legs, benchtop, vises, shelf, etc)

7. Thick, solid, heavy benchtop. Three inches of mdf.

So there it is. I logged just over 40 hours of build time. Started it on the 27th of December and completed it on the 11th of January. Plenty of mistakes along the way, but none too obvious. Gotta learn one way or another.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A little quiet around here

I have been using most of my free time to build up a woodworking bench...

The Whole boring story

I have basically been imersed in that for the last 2 weeks whenever not at work or with the family. Fortunately that project is coming to an end.

Just in time, Faith has decided that she just must have a "big girl" bed. The hutch project needs to get rolling. Of course I still need to do the real top for the dining table. Erin has actually been very accommodating to the plywood top since the kids and Christmas projects have proven pretty hard on it. Then comes furniture for the living room. It needs a full compliment of tables and a book shelf. After that, the list just keeps on going.

Looks like that bench will be getting a lot of use over the next year or two.

The holidays treated us well. Plenty of toys under the tree. Big THANK YOU for everyone who thought of us over the holidays. We managed to get our gifts in the mail early enough to be at their destination on Christmas day. We continued our holiday tradition of simple cooking and more emphasis on play and family than running all over the place. We do miss having our family close by, but on the flip side it is nice to take a bit more time enjoying the kids and hanging out.

We did an overnight trip down to Atlanta for New Years. Did a nice visit with my sister's ex-husband and our niece. Fireworks and dogs running all over the place. It was good times. Only downer was the drive time. With kids and dogs the drive is 5-6 hours each way. It was nice to have a destination for the holiday and to escape my garage for a couple of days.

New Years resolutions???
Nah, failed miserable on last year's. Maybe I should just get a do-over. I'll kep you posted if I change my mind.

Hope everyone is doing well. Drop me a line if you get a chance.