Friday, June 19, 2009

Workbench Legs

I've been working on my workbench, I have all the legs made! Each leg is laminated from 3 pieces, except for the last one which is only two pieces. That one will be in the back right corner. After the glue was dry, I leveled each leg out , and jointed it. The front stretchers will have to wait to made once the top is done, they are too long to work on my bench.
I also purchased a router plane. It is a Stanley #71 1/2, less fancy than the 71, but whatever. It has a beautiful patina, the nickel plating is gone, and underneath there is a bronze-colored plating. It only came with one blade the 1/4", so I will have to buy some new ones. I know that Lee Valley sells them. The other bad thing is that the cutter adjustment wheel is made poorly, the tapped hole is off-center, causing the wheel to bind up when turned. To fix this, I filed the cutter's slot, making it bigger. This causes more backlash, but at least it works smoothly.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Sharpening the Mortising Chisel

I finally sharpened my mortising chisel, I had been waiting for a package from the Japan Woodworker (in retrospect I shouldn't have expected fast delivery from a company on the other side of the country). I bought a DMT 335 8" x 3" diamond stone, and a honing guide. I know that the honing guide might be controversial, but for sharpening, there are two options: buy a honing guide, or use a grinder for a hollow grind. I have a grinder. It is noisy. It is messy. Now I have a honing guide.
The diamond stone, I don't think is so controversial, it works great, and is very reasonably priced. I use it for truing up waterstones, and for grinding a primary bevel. Here is a group photo of my sharpening arsenal:
The water bottle is very important, it speeds up sharpening by a lot. I play trombone, so I have this bottle floating around. Someday I'll upgrade my bevel gauges, something better than balsa wood would be nice. I also made a jig for repeatable settings on the honing guide, I post that in a later post.
This all brings me to the project at hand; the mortising chisel. I first lapped the back, then worked on the bevel. The bevel was tricky, it was chipped, and had a curved bevel, the opposite of a hollow grind. using stones would be too slow, so I switched to my grinder. I ground the bevel until there was about a 1/16 flat area at the tip, since I have a 4" wheel I didn't want to make too weak of an edge. At this point, I discovered that I have a laid-steel blade, which is a blade that consists of two steels. The harder one is at the bottom, and the softer one is at the top. This is not common in modern western-style tools, but this technique is still used in many Japanese edge tools. The rest of the bevel was then ground at 35 degrees.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hot Dog Handle

Recently I was practicing my shooting technique(no, not on the neighbor's dog), but I noticed that my hand kept rubbing uncomfortably on the wing after a while. So I decided to make a handle like the one Lie Nielson offers. I used the idea of Derek Cohen's. Mine is different in that I don't have a lathe, so I only shaped some of the thing. The handle is shaped like an "L", part of the leg has a large kerf(made with my panel saw). This slips onto the wing.