Tag Archives: hand tools

Shop Zen

This week I worked on a cabinet my IMG_2561daughter asked for – it’s just basic pine from the home store. I glued up a couple panels to make the carcass and was cleaning up the glue line with a scraper and smoother.

snick – shhhhhhhhhh

snick – shhhhhhhhhh

Nice long ribbons of shavings came out, the surface seemed to pick up more depth. And I found that at the end of each pass, I would clear the shavings with my left hand, and unconciously run my palm over the section I had just planed, while moving back to the start position. I had intended only clean up the glue line – but I was in the zone…

When I was done, I had dressed both sides of the two panels that I was going to make the carcass from. I was tired and sweaty, but felt satisfied – calm, relaxed, and satisfied. There’s just something about working on a project, when both the material and I are in sync.

New in the shop – half-back saw

BonyzHalfBackSawAnother saw from Ron Bontz showed up this past week – and it’s a useful little thing. The half back saw has a short back at the top of the plate. Filed for cross-cut, it seems to excel as a go to saw at the bench. It’s on the rack right behind me at the bench or in a slot on the bench most of the time.

When it first arrived, packed as shown above, the teeth were very very sharp, and I noticed that I had to be careful to to not flex the plate when the teeth caught. Holding it like a baby bird, using full strokes and remembering NOT to push it into the wood, the saw is re-enforcing some basics. As with all the saws I’ve gotten from Ron, the handle fits my hand really really well. After a week of frequent use and a bit of set adjustment (I messed around with it when I found a burr that I thought was responsible for the catching) it’s spot on for me now.

I’m blaming this one entirely on Shannon Rogers, as I want to build the tool tote, and this is the saw that seems to be perfect for that use. Look for that project in a later post!

Shop Quickies 2 – scraper rack

IMG_2556Another holder I needed to updateIMG_2555 was the scraper holder that sat on the shelf I removed. The original holder was a hunk of 2×4 that was kerfed on the table saw, and attached to a base plate. This worked well (and took up very little space), but wouldn’t work on the wall as well. (Or maybe it would, I may revist that later 🙂 ).

I used a short piece of 1×2 stock, and marked cross lines every 1/2″ along most of the length. Then I set a bevel angle on the side, and kerfed it by hand. That was it! I screwed it to the wall, and I’m ready to go.


Shop Quickies 1 – mallet holder

Since I moved a shelf in my shop IMG_2560I have to find new homes for stuff that used to sit on it. One of the tools I have at hand is a mallet from Shenandoah tool works. This mallet has a double grip (triple actually, I hold the head for fine work) and needed a forked holder. I used a simple technique to do this one.

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The Hag’s tooth

(I think I was turned on to this by Shannon Rogers in the Hand Tool Workshop – and since then, it’s been a go to item in my kit.)

Its one of my favorite tools, because of it’s simplicity and general utility is a router plane. I have a pair of small ones that I use for close in work, hinge mortising and fine trim work. I have a pair of largers ones set up with optional fences and with different style blades. They excel as working on the bottom of flat surfaces that need trimmed parallel to a higher face.
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Dang it!

Ever do something stupid in your shop?

I have a molding plane set that I purchased from Time Warp Tool Works a while back. The
photo 1 (12) rabbet plane chattered quite a bit when I first tried it out, and the reason was that the blade didn’t bed properly. The blade tang was probably bent when I was trying to remove it the first time I went to sharpen it – I can only guess it was because I tapped it too hard when I was trying to drive it in to loosen the wedge.


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Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event at Exotic Lumber

This past Friday I had the luxury of being able to take some time off from work and attend the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event in Frederick Maryland. Hosted by Exotic Lumber, the floor was cleared out to make room for several Hand tool makers, in addition to the hands on setups for LN tools. I’ve attended the LN Hand Tool events in the past, and they’re always a bla$t.


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Finished the Bathroom Cabinet

I got the cabinet hung this week, and am taking a short break. Bathroom Cabinet I’ll probably spend some time just cleaning up, I need to do a deep cleaning in there. The stationary equipment all needs a deep clean and tune ups. I have a pile of off cuts from the last two projects that I need to root through and figure out what I keep and what I get rid of. I hate that part, because each time I go through the get rid of pile, I think of something else that piece might be good for. Even when I’m finally at the burn barrel, there are hunks that still call out to me…