Sunday, April 19, 2009


I just got my pair of Gramercy holdfasts. I took advantage of all Gramercy tools being 10% off, ending 04/30/2009. This is for Tools For Working Wood's 10 anniversary. I envy my grandchildren who can take advantage of their 100 anniversary.

I tried the holdfasts, and they work great.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Marking Gauge

I have wanted to make a new marking gauge for a long time. My first one I built was sub-par. For my marking gauge #2, I wanted to fix the first's shortcomings. This is one thing that is very important in toolmaking. To know what you want to make, and how you don't want your tool to perform. The problem is that you probably won't get it totally right the first time. So what do you do? Do you buy more fancy materials, or do you just live with the tool that works, just not as well as it could? As a hobbyist, sometimes I can't justify making a new one. Prototypes sometimes help, sometimes not. Back to the marking gauge, my old gauge locked down securely, but the "blade" was a sawn-off nail that wouldn't stay in place, so the gauge didn't mark a clear line. Also, the body always seemed too shot to register well on the work. In the new gauge I fixed these problems.

To begin I selected a 3/4" thick board about 6" long. I cut a rabbet for the wear plate, and then trimmed the body to final length: 4". I made a mortise, for the arm, and for the traveller. It is very important to make the arm oversize, and then to plane it down to a fit where it slides smoothly with no play. The locking mechanism is illustrated in the picture. Both the nut and thumb nut are epoxied in, the nut embedded is not. this means that when I turn the thumb nut counter-colckwise, the traveler will travel away from the plate of brass. The wear plate is secured by 3 steel screws that were filed flush. The blade-holder is crude looking, but works extremly well. There is a small groove cut in the end of the arm. This holds the blade and prevents it from moving left to right. The center screw in the brass clamps the blade in. The blade is a old jigsaw blade.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Plane Lateral Adjuster

The lateral adjuster was made in place of a old pressed-steel one. It is made from a brass push plate used for doors, I picked it up at an architectural recycling store. Bring along a magnet to determine if the piece is solid or brass-plated. The adjuster is made from 3 parts, a circle, a long piece, and a semicircle. They are all glued together with epoxy, and held in position by a screw tapped into the frog.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's a block plane, sorta

This blog hasn't exactly been known for hot breaking news, but I see Lee Valley has introduced a new product, the small scraping plane. I'm sure reviews will follow it at the usual sites.

Veritas® Small Scraping Plane

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Toolcase: Finished

For the finish, I used high-gloss tung oil, and paste wax. All of the walnut got 3 coats of oil over 3 days. I use a t-shirt as an applicator. For the wax, I use a t-shirt to wipe on a layer, and let it sit for about 30 seconds. I then buff it out. I didn't oil the painted portions, even though the paint package says you can, when I tried, I failed, so I only rubbed on some wax.

I apoligize for the not-so-good photos, I went outside to get some better light than the weird creepy light of my basement, where this piece will hang.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Bad Description

Nothing woodworking related just funny(to me). I just checked my statcounter, and on the recent keyword page someone came to my blog searching for "bad description of a woodshop". I think that pretty much sums this blog up, bad(ass).