Thursday, December 31, 2009

Small Infill Plane

I decided to finally build a infill plane. First I made a mock-up, to see if it will be usable. Here's the first version.

Reading Derek Cohen's writeup about building the Brese Small Smoother kit got me wondering about shavings clogging in the throat. So for the second version, I moved the back infill backwards, and put a radius on the back of the front infill. This increases throat size.

Right now this is probably what I'm gonna make. To follow the entire thread, go here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Gifts

This year I built a maple box for my sister, and a quartersawn red oak tissue box cover for my Aunt and Uncle. I don't have a picture of the oak box, but I do have a picture of the maple box. Both boxes are dovetailed using my $4 Japanese flush-cut saw. The maple box has a sliding tray.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Thanks to everyone for reading, I apologize that I haven't posted for a while, but I have been hard at work on making gifts for tomorrow (I'm not even done as I type this).

Hope you and your family have a peaceful holiday season.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Making a Plane Adjusting Hammer

After I started using my new fillister plane, I decided I needed a real plane adjusting hammer. This is what I came up with, not exactly a groundbreaking new design, but easy to make and works well. The head is made of 1/2" brass rod, with a 1/2" long ebony facing on one side. The ebony is attached by a machine screw that is tapped into the brass and the ebony. This is where a bottoming tap comes in handy. Unlike a normal tap, which doesn't have complete threads towards the front end of the tool so that the tool can be started easily, the bottoming tap has threads that go all the way. It is used after the normal tap has threads established. This allows threads to be cut all the way to the bottom of the blind holes, thus making it the strongest possible. The two pieces are joined with the addition of epoxy. The I drilled the hole for the hammer's tenon. This is tricky because the hole must be drilled into the curved side of the brass. So I took a piece of scrap pine, drilled a 1/2" hole in it, and a perpendicular 3/8" hole that intersects the 1/2" hole. This guides the drill bit and prevents wandering. I aligned the hammer head up with hole and drilled it out. After letting the epoxy set, I trimmed down the ebony, using the brass rod to reference my chisels off of. I domed each face of the hammer with a file. The head gets polished to 600 grit.The handle is black and white ebony, made into an octagon. When making an octagonal handle, it's best to rough it out with something like a block plane, and go back later with a smooth plane and clean up any tearout. Use a very thin cut, and a sharp blade. the handle is about 7" long. I formed the tenon that goes into the hammer head, and planed a taper into the top to make it look better. Then the hammer head is epoxied on, and the whole thing got three coats of shellac.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What I've Been Doing

I have been woodworking since my last post, I just neglected to post anything. I've been working on a sawbench, it is modeled on Christopher Schwarz's saw bench, and also on my normal bench. Instead of the legs that slant outwards, mine go straight down, as not to interfere with the saw. The top will be 32" long, and 20" tall.

I also have been working on my sawhandle. It's getting along.

And finally, I won a much needed fillister plane off ebay. It has some problems with the blade however, and I will most likely have to make a new blade. The current one works, but not as well as it could.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I apologize for not posting earlier, the workbench has been done for at least a week. So here it is. Note where the bench is. This weekend I plan on moving it to the far side of the room, and adding better lighting back there. I will post more pictures soon.Now what's this, pills in the shop? No, it's a jojoba oil applicator made from an old pill jar and a old t-shirt. Works great, but may raise some interesting questions...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Leg Vise

For my workbench's front vise, I went for a leg vise. This is simple and cheap to make. Mine has a 2" thick hickory chop and a old vise screw I got for $8. I made the slot for the parallel guide bar, but some how it ended being way too big, and the bar was too loose. To fix this I clamped it to a large square block of wood, and then put a bunch of slow-setting epoxy in, and some wooden wedges. Ater it dried, I pegged it. It doesn't look great, but it is stout. Since my wooden screw is so beat-up, I decided to use a system first shown on Jameel Abraham's Blog where the guide bar slides on two small wheels, thereby taking the load off of the screw. (He later turned this into one of his products at Benchcrafted, the Glide Leg Vise.) I used small caster wheels that I cut from swiveling casters. The first one I installed was the one behind the leg, it is not adjustable. Since my side stretcher is so low , the wheel is mortised directly into the leg. The front wheel is in a wooden bracket which allowed to adjust it up and down to achieve optimal results.
In this photo, the back wheel is not visible, because it only sticks out about a 1/16" from the stretcher. The location is marked by the protruding nut.

To drill the 2 1/4" clearance hole for the screw I used a hole saw. I had never used one before, and discovered that it works much faster if there is little pressure. The chop could be drilled all the way through, but the leg was drilled from both sides. The garter, the piece that locks the screw in so that when it is released, the chop will travel backwards, is made from 1/8" thick aluminum (it's blue from layout liquid). Since the garter slot is not flush with the shoulder of the screw head, I had to mortise it in. The extra space to the top of the garter is essential. This allows it to be installed and uninstalled.

The nut for the vise screw is lag bolted in. The location is very simple to mark, just tighten the whole thing down, and mark.
I left the chop a little long so I could trim it flush with my bench top. At first I used my LN low-angle block plane, then my Stanley #4, both with poor results. Then I used my Stanley #6, which worked perfectly. It is a very solid tool, and I think that the weight helped give it good momentum to push through the cut.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sliding Deadman

The sliding deadman's job is to support long boards on edge by either resting the board on a peg or a hold fast. To make mine, I flattened a pine 2" x 8", and rabbeted the top, 5/8" from the front. There is a matching groove in the bottom of the benchtop that is 5/8" from the edge, and 5/8" wide. It is also 1/2" deep, which is the deepest my plow plane goes. This poses a slight problem, as most plans I've seen have the deadman come out by deepening the groove, and having it slide up and then over the bottom. This is why I made the tongue removable, by two screws, I didn't want the tongue to be less than 1/2" long. The bottom track is shaped like a 'v', if I had made a groove, it is likely that sawdust and shavings would have collected in the corners, and not allow the deadman to slide. The bottom 'v' groove was very hard to make, I chopped it out with a chisel, and other tools.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Wagon Vise

For my end vise I decided on an wagon vise. I think I could have gotten away with out one, but I thought it might be nice to have. Benchcrafted sells a very nice version of a wagon vise, but I just don't have that kind of money. The screw I used is sold through Lee Valley as a veneer press screw. It is pretty simple, the screw pushes a dog block which has a runner that slides in two slots under the bench. This screw was tricky. The flange, the part that was supposed to mount onto the dog block, has no holes or anything that allows it to be attached easily. So I made an oak piece that slips over the flange and is screwed to the dog block. Now I need to head over to the kennel for some dogs...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You Should be Blogging

99 posts ago I wrote my first post to the woodshopbug. I have had a lot of fun. I have become very famous (Brad Pitt invited me to one of his parties, but I turned it down since it was a school night) and have learned a lot. The reason I started was that I couldn't find a good blog on exactly what I am interested in. (I have since- see Notable Woodworking Blogs at the right of this page.) So this brings me to what I want you to do. Go to a blog host; wordpress, or blogger, and start. I use blogger because it's the first one I found, but I think that with wordpress you can make a more complex page. Either will be fine. Then start writing about what you do in your shop. Unless you stop woodworking (gasp!) you will always have something to write about, and therefore have no excuse for not posting.
The only tips I can think of about posting are to try to include pictures (in-action ones are even better, but not anything dangerous), don't go off in long rants, keep it concise, and proof read your post, spelling counts. Lastly send me an email about your blog,( and I will link to you, which is not that big of a deal, but it's a start.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Making Toothed Blades

In the recent Popular Woodworking, there was an article about using toothed blades (see Deneb Puchalski demonstrate them here) and got to thinking how that might be a useful tool, but all ones they were selling were upwards of $60. That's a lot more than I wanted to spend. So I decided to make one. I used a .035" thick 1" diameter cutoff wheel(part # 4550A121 at McMaster-Carr) with a 1/16" arbor. I then shimmed the bed (where the glass is), until it was about 1/32" away from the edge of the wheel. I turned it on and let it rip. I didn't get the teeth in very far, but I think it is enough. I think I could maybe make the teeth more evenly spaced if I used some sort of indexing system.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Making It Knockdown

I realized the necessity of making a knockdown bench about halfway through the design process. Otherwise, I would never be able to get the bench out of the basement. For a bench to be knockdown, the goal is to turn it into 5 pieces, the top, the two side assemblies, and the two long front stretchers. Also the bench has to be just as stout as its non-collapsible counterparts. I bolted through the legs into the front stretchers, where I have a matching nut embedded in it. That was the easy part, but the problem was still how to attach the top to the base. At first I planned on making through tenons, like the traditional Roubo (see this stunning specimen), but then reality set in. So I decided to make a sort of cleat system that is bolted to the underside of the bench. I have completed this, and it works very well, I made 1" long and 2" square tenons on the top of the legs, but they were probably unnecessary.

Most of the ideas were from Christopher Schwarz's free chapter on knockdown workbenches.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One year Anniversary!

I just realized that the one year anniversary of thewoodshopbug has come and gone. Awesome. I'll save the mushy sentimental stuff for my 100th post (two posts from now).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Czeck Edge Kerf Kadet- Review

A marking knife is a simple tool- or is it? My first marking knife was an craft knife. This worked pretty good, but had an old dull blade, and was not long enough to mark in between dovetails. So then I made a marking knife that I blogged about in February. That was okay, an upgrade from the craft knife, but it had two major flaws. The first is that the tip of the blade was rounded, not pointed. At the time, I didn't realize it was that important. With a pointy blade, less of the knife has to be in the work to scribe the same depth of a cut as a rounded tip. This enables the knife to not stray from where you want to mark as much because it's less likely to follow the grain. The second flaw was that it looked terrible. Okay not that big a deal, but it annoyed me.

So now we come to the Kerf Kadet. Mine is in Macassar Ebony- $41.95. Let's start with the blade. It's 0-1 steel and is 1/32" thick and 1 5/16" long. This is a very nice set-up, all bevels are very crisp. The blade cuts very cleanly.

The handle's grain is more visible that I expected, never seeing this ebony before in person. It is very striking(no pun intended) has a great shape and has a very attractive finish. The bronze ferrule is very nice too.

Shown here are test cuts in pine and walnut.
A good marking knife is very important in the shop; it's more accurate than a pencil, and will even help you saw straighter. I highly recommend the Kerf Kadet from Czeck Edge. It is available from Czech Edge, and Craftsman Studio.

P.S.-shoutout to cornell dairy customer!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Legs Are In

The top is all done, dogholes are cut, and tenons are glued and pegged with 3/8" oak pegs. I made a lot of progress on the bench's undercarriage, the legs are mortised into the top with 1" long tenons, those blocks coming out of the top of the legs will be lag-bolted to the top. They too are mortised to the legs. The legs in the rear photo might look weird. That's because I goofed and on the right, I made the mortise's edge at 16" from the end (correct), but the left one was 15" (incorrect), so the stretcher was offset in order to be parallel. I bought some 2" hickory for the vises. I also bought some more tools, a LN 102, and these microplanes, which I used to shape this handle (which is still in progress). That's all for now, I am now going to focus on the wagon vise.