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About wchesterpa

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  1. Some what off-topic but I was wondering if anyone has tried/seen the japanese hollows and rounds that Lee Valley says. They are crazy cheap compared to western options and I haven't known Lee Valley to sell anything bad, but the price difference is so extreme as to make me wonder.
  2. I've often wondered about sweet gum as lumber. Never had a chance to try but thought I would mention this: I took down a small sweet gum and larger chinese chestnut at the same time 2 years ago. Took them down mostly because of they both produce those annoying prickly balls--though the chestnuts are more like ninja balls of death than just annoying. Anyway, two years later the logs I have left from the chestnut are still essentially intact, while the sweet gum log is dust. I didn't do anything to them; they seemed to attract bugs and rot in no time flat. (the roots on the other hand are eternal. I've had to rip up shoots every weekend for the last 2 years and it shows no sign of slowing down)
  3. There are a lot more surface holes than I remember, and in one spot there was a pile of sawdust--which could have been from me cutting something, but I don't think so. I'm worried less about the type of bug and more about whether they are a significant threat to spread. ETA: Having read the powderpost beetle link, it seems that's pretty likely given the size of holes, the sawdust pile and that it's ash. Thanks preeng2
  4. I'm outside Philadelphia. I doubt its ash borer as the wood seems like it had been sitting in the garage for quite awhile, layers of dust on it, etc.
  5. Last week, I pulled out a piece of Ash from the stacks in my basement. It was from a bunch of Ash given to me from friend who had found them left in the garage when they bought a new house. I never really examined the boards closely and now think I'm seeing fresh bug damage (surface holes) on the boards. Wondering if I should be panicked. Is this likely to spread to the rest of my wood? What about to the framing of the house? Do I need to start fogging my workshop right away? Spot treat the boards? Thoughts?
  6. I actually have no idea how old the #7 is but I'd guess it's fairly late. (Know of any quick links for identifying Stanley Plane age?) The throat is no more than 3/16s wide. I bought a new mill file that's just under an 1/8 thick and have managed to open it up a bit. The Hock fits fairly well in my Stanley Bailey #6. I suppose I could move the frog back further but once it's past the back of the throat it really doesn't matter does it? The blade will just be unsupported by the frog.
  7. A question for those who have used a Hock replacement blade: I picked one up for a cheap Stanley Bailey #7 I stumbled on. But the throat is too narrow for the thicker blade. I went to start using a mill file to open the throat a bit and discovered that none of my mill files will fit into the throat either. Has anyone opened a plane throat and if so what size/brand mill file did you use?
  8. As someone who has been following a somewhat similar path, let me suggest that you do as much as possible within budget to switch to some handtools right away. I spent a lot of money on increasing specialized powertools, jigs and such before I figured out that the difference between my "pretty close" efforts and what I aspired too had more to do with handtools and handtool skills than it did with the pricey power tools and accessories. I absolutely wish that the last $500 to $1000 I spent on power tool woodworking had been spent on hand tools instead.
  9. I've been thinking about doing something similar but creating a toothed blade. I thought about the scrub route but worried that I couldn't get the throat wide enough and that the blade, even with a cap iron, wouldn't be thick enough to power through the cuts.
  10. I just came across the Hand Tool School "online apprenticeship" via the forum and have signed up. I can heartily recommend it already as more than worth the price. I'm not sure how any DVD set can match the detail of Shannon's videos and his willingness to answer specific questions, up to and including a Skype video chat. And all of that for $100. So I guess I'd want to know why you aren't interested in the online courses. Better content, better learning and better value as far as I'm concerned.
  11. Thanks for these thoughts. Being penny-wise and pound-foolish is exactly my concern with this decision. I certainly don't want to spend on a bench that's "not going to get it done." The projects are generally small furniture pieces. In the queue right now are some adirondack chairs, a simple wall hanging display case for my dad to display his dad's handtools, a shaker sofa table for my mom. I've completely fallen for using hand tools to get things exactly right. I use my power tools to get things close and then switch to hand tools. Started with the shoulder plane, then the block plane, then the jack and #4, rabbet plane and router plane are wrapped and under the tree. Where I'm leaning now is toward that Fine Woodworking design with a view to being able to turn that into an assembly table or to re-use parts for my future bench. I hear you on getting started on the real bench but there are 2 issues there: 1) I'm already 6 months behind on these projects, and have promised my wife that I'll have a pencil post bed done this summer so taking 3 months to build a bench (which is what it would take me) probably won't work. 2) I don't think I have enough experience yet to a) know what I want, and to successfully make my "forever" bench. Very happy to hear more thoughts.
  12. I desperately need a workable surface for handtooling. But I have way too many things in queue to take the time to build the workbench I really want (say a split-top Roubo with Benchcrafted hardware for instance). Options I'm considering: 1. Attempt a quick build of the recent Fine Woodworking basic bench (but those quick builds always turn into longer builds along the way) with an end vise (http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/42784/build-your-first-workbench/page/all) 2. Build a larger version of a "Bench-on-Bench" that I can clamp on top of my existing bench, with an end vise, perhaps designed to pair with the the Moxon vise from Gramercy. 3. Buy this Grizzly bench that is on sale now: http://www.grizzly.com/products/T10157 4. Buy this Rockler bench that is on sale now: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=22098&filter=Rockler%20Outlet All of these would seem to allow reuse of parts when I do get around to building my real bench. One seeming advantage of the Grizzly is that I could put that off for a good 5 to 10 years and save up the money to really do it right. Thoughts? Anyone have experience with one of the Grizzly benches? Any thoughts on vises would also be appreciated.
  13. After reading a lot about the benefits of standing desks, I'm about to start building one. Since it's my first one I'm a little leery of setting a fixed height. Anyone got ideas/examples of some non-clunky ways to allow some height adjustment while maintaining rigidity? Thanks.
  14. If you're not in a hurry, I'd mention that the Craftsman professional is a rebadged DW with a different handle. And they're discontinuing the line so you've got a decent chance of picking one up cheap. I got one 2 months ago for $75 from a store manager who didn't know what it was but wanted it out of inventory.
  15. Continuing on this theme, I've been looking at the various low-angle block plane options from a similar perspective. I've gotten pretty good with card scrapers, good enough to start moving into quality planes. I've noticed that the Lie Nielsen ($95 at Amazon, $115 at Lee Valley) WoodRiver V3 ($90) and Stanley Sweetheart ($75 at Amazon) block planes are all within about $20 of each other with the Veritas being somewhat more ($135). Are there reasons to prefer one of these over the others? Should I just flip a coin?