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Courtland posted a topic in Hand ToolsI read with great interest and relief for the outlook that James Krenov had with his hand tools, and sharpening, and maintenance. For years I have been put off by the many sharpening gadgets, guides, holders, science, bevel up, bevel down, yadayadayada. I have always thought that folks can get wound waaaay too tightly over the science of woodworking, and tooling, so much so they forget the joy of the actual woodwork. James Krenov had a very lax position on the sharpening of his tools, specifically hand plane blades. He sharpened free hand, never spent too much time doing it, never worried about secondary bevels, or angles, and he used oil stones. Honestly, growing up as a teenager and learning woodwork in my dads shop, Krenov's method of sharpening is the exact way my dad taught me, just put the cutter up on an oil stone, keep the angle around 45 degrees, and do the fingernail test, if it looks good, it's ready. Here is a quote from Krenov that I love: What Krenov said about sharpening about sums it all up for many of us. I used to use a roller guide (on and off, depending on the latest fad) to support my chisels and plane irons for sharpening, not anymore, I have been free handing it most of my woodworking life and I am very happy with the results. I love James Krenov approach on this subject, basically he's just saying, get over it! It's just a tool! And have fun! My eyes glaze over when the sharpening gurus start talking about angles, micro bevels, body positioning, and more, jeez, get over it, it's just woodworking! If free hand sharpening on an old oil stone is good enough for Krenov, it's good enough for me, just like ol Dad taught me! And if you are a user of the sharpening guides, and it works for you, stick with it! There are many sharpening jigs out there for the woodworker and it's a great aid, I must admit I can get into the jigs really easy, but in my puritan quest as of late, I am liking free hand sharpening more and more.
So last Friday, I spent most all afternoon and evening performing a series of small jobs for my step-father. The main one was repairing his clothes dryer plus a mixed bag of other things...while picking up my tools in the laundry room, he disappeared for a bit...when I went to check on him, he had pulled these off the fire place mantel where they've "resided" for years. He handed them to me and said "I want you to have these if you want them?" They belonged to his grandfather (a carpenter by trade)... This is not a tool gloat (well maybe just a little), but I was overwhelmed to receive this as family heirlooms...Thanks for looking! I think the one on the left is mahogany??? The one on the right is hard maple. Both are in remarkable good condition for being ~125-150 years old Notice the heavy layers of leather strapping put in place to cushion your hand. Also I'm assuming the optional add on leg bolt to adjust the fence position I think both f these might have been used to cut window sash moldings and also for some trim work as they both have multiple cutters some with a degree of profile The only markings on either were on this one..."great-grandfather's" initials stamped in one end.
Just saw the American Woodshop episode from this season where dufus builds a wall hung desk. Anyway, the part that made me think of you was his field trip to a school that teaches hand tool use. Called Little Miami Handworks, it's in Bellbrook (just outside of Dayton OH, for you out of state guys) and if you ever get bored with life, you could teach the same thing...they have nothing on your talents. They did have a slightly larger shop, but for what they charge they can afford it.
I have to brag about a book I purchased a couple weeks ago, it's been by my bed and I have been reading it every night before going to bed. A couple weeks ago I also built a mallet, and I loved the experience of building my own hand tools. It gave me a satisfaction knowing that a tool I need to use, I built! You can see my Big Ash Mallets by clicking on the link. Now, leading up to the subject of this topic, the wonderful and very interesting book, Making and Mastering Wood Planes by David Finck. The book is priced well, actually it's a great book that should probably have a higher retail value on it than what David Finck is selling them at, but shhh, we won't tell him that! You can go to this link Purchase the Book and pick one up for yourself, at this point in time he ran out of new books till mid to late August 2016, but you can still get a great deal on lightly used books for a very deeply discounted price. The book itself is loaded with beautiful images, very easily understood illustrations, and it's not just a plane book, it's also a book on tuning up machinery and hand tools, in order to make your own hand planes correctly and accurately. About 5/8ths of the book is actual hand plane building, the rest is about how to use the tools you need to build them, and once you build the planes to tune them, and use them. This is not only a book to keep in your shop for reference as you build your hand planes, but it would also make a nice coffee table book as well. It's that nice looking! It's not often I give a book review, but I just had to in this case as this is a very special book. Also, if you order David's new book, he'll sign it before he sends it to you, he signed mine, and it looks cool. Have fun folks, by the way, I have no horse in this game, David Finck does not even know who I am, I make no commission on this plug, I just love this book that much, I felt I had to let the world know about it.
For our East Coast woodworkers, Lie Nielsen is holding their annual open house for 2015 on July 10-11. Lie Nielsen is located in Maine, so if you are anywhere near Maine, as small a state as Maine is, it could be very close to you! If you go please report back to us and let us know how it went. Click on the image to be taken to the Lie Nielsen website for the location of their company and more details.
Cleaning up the shop, putting away the toys, er tools. Spied a black box Hmm, wonder what I stashed in there? Opened it up, found a couple wood bodies for a few hand planes, eh....and a few of these That long sucker is a 5/8 Bowl gouge. If I recall correctly, and it was a yard sale item that cost a $1. Four Craftsman chisels, and four that were I think from Harbor Freight. Went back and cleaned these all up. Now the problems arise. You see, there isn't any room for them in this box and the lathe these went to is a rusty, broken down mess. Plastic fan on the "dryer" motor( looks like one, anyway) is broke. The joint between the two sections of the "T" rail is in BAD shape. Rusty as all get out. Not really worth the effort to rehab, even for me. So, what to do with these "Treasures"?
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