Block Plane Completed


So I spent about 2 hours with my new addition last Friday:

I took a LONG time to reestablish the bevel on the three 220 plane irons. Since I'm a glutton for punishment I also sharpen my 4 bench chisels and the iron on my Jack plane. All of these bevels were off severely. Now I can cut paper and the tip of my thumb (oops! and ouch!!)

Right when I finished that the mailman brought a package with height adjustment screw and frog (the parts I was missing)

So I put together a plane and test out my labor.

Thin enough?

This is fun...

It made short work of the wild grain on the walnut and after a bit of adjustment got it pulling nice thin shavings. I would call the feel equivalent to 320 grit paper. Which I have to say BLOWS MY MIND.

Anyway. I call this a success. I will totally be looking for frogs for the other two, seems a shame not to complete them after the first works so well.

Stanley Block Planes

I picked up three Stanley 220 block planes on craigslist. Turns out they were missing some parts, so my stellar deal isn't so stellar but I think I still did okay. Before they are usable I have some clean up to do.

So I spent 4 hours in the garage last night cleaning up the planes and lapping the soles by hand. Really made me appreciate the bargain box of Kingspor sandpaper I got. The amount of sandpaper I consumed was staggering. Even with stopping every 10 minutes to blow out the filings with compressed air.

Okay.. pictures. This was the best looking of the three and a good place to start.

100 grit & 150 grit on either side of an old glass shelf

When I realized how long this was going to take

2 - 3 hours later( I also too the opportunity to flatten the backs of my chisels too. Something that I'd never done) I started at 100, then polished to 240 but didn't get a shot of that.

Plane iron time...

These things are awkward to hold... My kludge:

double stick turners tape

cleaned up nice

At that point my lathe started to whine for attention. She's been an only child for two years and couldn't understand how I spend 3 hours in the shop without even looking at her bench

Madrone knob (tote?) with CA finish.

That's all for now...

What a lot of fun!

Stopper Maddness

I sell bottle stoppers in a shop in Healdsburg Ca. The shop is called Noble Designs. Selling bottle stoppers in the wine country is a very competitive enterprise. Every shop here has at least one type of stoppers, if not two to three. So I was quite thankful to have the opportunity.

Regardless some months are good and others are silent. I call once a month and ask, "So... need any more stoppers?"

"Sorry no sales"

That's how it's been since November and I was beginning to get discouraged. Then all of the sudden I get a call last week:

"We sold almost half of your stoppers! Come restock us!"

I suppose that's tourist season for you. Now I need to re-order all my supplies and start cranking these out again. I hope this run last for a while!

The Occult

I sit down, and shed all reason and logic, as I open my pamphlet entitled:

"So you've decided to do away with all that filthy productivity and join the cult."

It's not a good sign but I decide to keep reading. I flip open the hand folded tract and see what more information it has to impart to my longing soul.

"You don't have to live the repressed life of your narrow minded generation. Open your mind and breath easy. You have begun your first step towards a life without the domineering overlord of 3 phase wiring or mindless repacking of your wearing motor bearings. Can you imagine a world without concerns of blade drift or constant mechanical tuning? If yes, then I bid you welcome to the cult. Please remove your jeans and t-shirt and pick up a linen smock and a tasteful pair of dark breeches."

It turns out, that my new hobby has some rather bizarre fringe members. Like any other family, the woodworking clan has a number of relatives that most people just never talk about. They often refer  to themselves Neanderthals. Electricity? Oh yes they've seen it. It doesn't matter. They shun it. Many of them started innocently enough. Purchasing a hand plane here, a set of chisels there and soon a rip saw, crosscut saw and before you know it, WHAM. They're a full blown cult member with knickers and a period ponytail, sneering at those of us with table saws and electric sanders.

"You know... you could do that be hand?"

"Make molding? By hand?"

"Yea. You would only need a spokeshave, and simple scratch stock, and couple of hand planes. Should only take 20 minutes per 3' foot board."

"My router can do that in like...oh I don't know...4 seconds."

"But it won't be handcrafted."

"By handcrafted, do you mean tedious and aggravating?"

For every hand tool there is now a new modern equivalent that came into use with that ridiculous dark period of our history known as, The Industrial Revolution. I'm not saying I don't appreciate learning the techniques and skills of craftsman gone by, but contrariwise I have zero plans of freezing time at 1865 when my back saw could be interchanged for cutting drawer joints or amputating infected limbs. I like this era and I welcome the inviting hum of whirring motors and spinning drive belts. For me, the machines are half the fun.

To me, when looking at a set of hand cut dovetails side by side with machined cut dovetails they look identical. One took 30 minutes, and one took 3 minutes. Unless of course we are talking about my hand cut dovetails, which look more like ragged New York City pigeon tails after being run over by a an angry cab driver. So take your pick.

I suppose this could all just come down to jealously, or possibly the countless hours I've spent at my workbench trying to do anything that looks slightly passable as craftsmanship with my hand tools. Nah, that can't be it.

So I took my leaflet, crumpled it up and threw it away. Anyone want a loose fitting set of dark breeches?