First 100% hand tool project

Shortly after I got into woodworking, one of the things I got into building were things like shadow boxes and other military related items for when people leave or retire. For people who leave whether at retirement or receiving orders, a little gift is typical as a job well done sort of gesture. Since then, I’ve made plenty of shadow boxes for work. It was a great way to build my skills. I would make small 11×14 shadow boxes for everyone and design each one differently myself.  We had a set budget for everyone but soon some of the higher ups wanted to cut down on that budget and anything extra would have to be pitched in by everyone else. Since we pay monthly dues, rather than having everyone pitch in more, I just decided to come up with an alternative parting gift and here’s what I came up with. Continue reading “First 100% hand tool project”

My brand new $20 “scrub” plane

Back before I even thought about getting into hand tools, I still would go on sites like Lie-Nielsen and drool over all the shiny tools they had dreaming one day I would own ALL of them. At this point in time I am no where close to that dream but I have started building my collection. One tool that was never on my must have list was a scrub plane, mainly due to the fact that I never really understood it. It wasn’t until my saw bench that I realized that if I was going to do the hand tools thing, a scrub plane is a necessity. Continue reading “My brand new $20 “scrub” plane”

I Should Be in the Shop

I hate Florida. It’s 3 days before Xmas and it’s 73 degrees and raining. I’m sure for some that are located in much colder and harsh weather you wish you could be in my shoes, and while I would happily decline, I’m just saying that I’d at least have to be in more than some shorts and a tee shirt when I step outside. Although it’s perfect weather to be in the shop, it’s been at least a full week since I’ve been in out there. My wife and kids have all been helpful in preventing me from leaving the house during my time off from work. Continue reading “I Should Be in the Shop”

Saw Bench Pt 3 – I May Have Cheated, but at Least I’m Done

First things first, the saw bench is COMPLETE!

My cheating is not as bad as it sounds. I would have to say that this bench was built 95% by hand. When I decided that I would use dowels for the joinery, in the back of my mind I figured I’d use a drill. I don’t have a brace at the moment and I really wanted this done so I’m completely fine with having used the drill. I did buy a brace and some augers on eBay which will be here this week but like I said, I really wanted to finish this project. Continue reading “Saw Bench Pt 3 – I May Have Cheated, but at Least I’m Done”

Saw Bench Pt 2 – More Blood Than Sweat and Tears

The milling is finally finished!

While I admit it was probably more planing than may have been necessary, it was definitely a learning experience. My lack of a scrub plane did make things a lot more laborious, but as per a comment from Smitty_Cabinetshop on LumberJoocks, my technique and stance probably did not help. I do admit he was right, but not entirely my fault. Continue reading “Saw Bench Pt 2 – More Blood Than Sweat and Tears”

Saw Bench Pt 1 – Rubbed Raw

The second project in the Hand Tool School is to build a saw bench. Considering I’m currently sawing all my wood from waist level surfaces, this a definitely a necessity. Shannon’s uses a design that is basically a 5 board bench, except it’s actually 6 boards because it has a ripping notch all the way through. He bought some pine from a big box store so all he really had to do is cut to the dimensions and build. As much as I’d love to do the same to save time,  I’m not gonna spend money where I don’t have to. I have a crap ton of red oak right now, all rough and ranging from 4/4-6/4.

Did I mention this was rough lumber? I’m not just talking about it not being surfaced, I mean full of cups, twists, bows and some worm holes. I can’t really complain though. A guy I work with got me about 130 for $50 from his fathers saw mill in MS! That’s about $.38 a bdft! Plus I got a good amount of quarter sawn lumber as well.

Anyhow, back to the saw bench. Continue reading “Saw Bench Pt 1 – Rubbed Raw”