workswood4food

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About workswood4food

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  • Woodworking Interests
    tools, tool making, beautiful wood

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  1. I use Timber on Southern near Mesa drive almost exclusively. You will find it worth the $20 milling to get your boards planed; a lot of the lumber is pretty rough compared to say, WW Source. I went to some other place years ago and bought about 40 bd ft of maple, but was so embarrassed when he pulled down a full unit, cut the bands, and told me to take my time I haven't been back. Don't get me wrong, he was very nice, the lumber was beautiful, the price was good, but I felt out of my element. Timber is more my speed. I would be interested in an update on AZ suppliers, particularly PHX area. This thread needs a refresh. Thanks
  2. Sometimes we have to work with what we have. I built a small bench years ago entirely of 4/4 maple. The top is strips, 3 inches wide, alternated so that every other strip is standing on edge, and its neighbor is flat on its face. The front 5 inches or so , where most work happens and the dog holes are, is a full 3 inches thick, glued up out of the same 4/4 stock. This has been used maybe 20 years and still looks good. Do I chop out mortises in 8/4 maple on it? No, I don't do that kind of work. And holdfasts are out of the question. But it suits me fine. For ballast I keep heavy tools on the shelf below and if I have to move it, I can without a forklift.
  3. I just hit them with the shrink ray, put them in a thimble, and hide them in my wife's sewing basket . Seriously, storing jigs is a huge problem I haven't solved. Some good ideas here. Thanks.
  4. I have the Wixey and it is great when I am doing a lot of TS work, which is pretty rare, actually. When I go to make that occasional cut, the battery is dead, and rather than go into the house where I have a stash of batteries I pull out the tape measure. I have an incrajig, somewhere, and while it may be wonderful if you have to reset the fence for repeat cuts, I find that usually I can plan my work such that I don't have to reset the fence. And I find aluminum and plastic a bit delicate for the kind of things I do, so I avoid tools made with them whenever possible. When i do have to do a fence reset, I usually am satisfied to set the fence off another piece I have already cut. I keep offcuts around for this purpose, labeled, in case I have already glued up something and need to repeat the cut. For a fence, Biesemeier or one of its many knockoffs are hard to beat. The novelty of the Incra wore off pretty fast.
  5. A little late to this thread, but... I start with that word processor (not naming it) that we all love to hate and print out a template. You can select up to 72 point which gives you 1 inch high letters, or type in any number to get something bigger or smaller. Then I type out my message and convert it to an outline font (use Text Effects). After printing it I take a pencil and draw in the center lines for each letter. I glue the pattern to the work with Scotch 77 and go at it with a knife. Pretty much any of the Flexcut knives will work well, but I find a shorter blade easier to control than a long one. I used to use a pocket knife until the blade folded back as the spring gave out. You can put a lot of force on a blade; a fixed blade will hold up better. Walnut carves well but is a hard wood. Take a practice run with basswood or some clear pine. You may decide an applique with a softer wood is more practical after some work with a softer wood. I do not like using gouges for carving letters; the process is simply too slow. Using a knife you just cut straight down the center line, then do the V cuts from either side. It's easier than you think.
  6. My goto blade for years was a Systimatic 40T 4ATB+R until the saw shop ground the rakers to oblivion. Needing a blade fast I ended up with a Tenryu of the same geometry. Nothing special there; it will be replaced soon, probably with a Freud if I can't get something better. Forrest maybe -- if I feel rich.
  7. Sums up my experience with Japanese saws. Some people love them. Give me a Disston #4.
  8. I took a look at some catalog photos and, sure enough, ECE has cheapened up and gone to cross dowels versus the traditional wedge mortise (not right, but my brain is not finding the right word at the moment). This makes me wonder if they have also moved away from tapered blades. That would be a real loss if they have, but tapered blades are harder to make and we are all so eager to get tools cheaper these days. With this plane you really want a tapered blade, with the cross dowel it doesn't matter so much, even a tapered blade will wiggle loose after a while because there is less bearing surface to exert friction on it. A source for tapered blades is: https://redrosereproductions.com/tapered-bench-plane-irons/ It will cost you around $80 if they have one that fits. I suspect the taper is ground on these, old pre-20th century blades would have been forged that way. An alternative is eBay. Search for "tapered plane blade" or "tapered plane iron" and you will find a lot of choices from 100+ years ago. many of these come from discarded planes, mostly in England where they still value these things. Here they just go to the dump. I threatened to explain why you want a tapered blade, nobody asked, so I will do the brain download anyway. If you compare the blade to the wedge that holds it you will see that the tapers are in opposition to each other. When you push on the plane, if the blade shifts at all it won't shift much before it gets locked in place due to the opposing tapers. Contrast that to the Krenov style plane with a flat blade and cross-dowel. There is nothing to increase the pressure if the blade slips; it just goes on slipping. This makes these planes disagreeable to adjust. You have to drive in the wedge a lot harder which puts more stress on the plane. And with the wedge driven in so hard, it's harder to finesse the blade in place to take that paper thin shaving we all crave. No disrespect for Mr. Krenov. He brought back the craft from the dead (with a little help from others) and there were good reasons to design a plane that budding woodworkers could make with little skill and still get satisfactory results.
  9. Yeah, I agree - don't be stupid doesn't mean anything - unless you have already made plenty of stupid mistakes, then you know what it means. The first time my son used the table saw (he was 34) he let go of the offcut and it went flying when it shifted into the blade. His fingers stung for a few minutes but no other harm done. I didn't explain to him what I had learned long ago from a similar experience. In this case I was the stupid one, because I did not tell him what was second nature to me. Perhaps this rule should say don't start any power tool until you have thought through what you are going to do and considered what could go wrong.
  10. If it is variable speed, open up that puppy and blow out the dust. Poor environmental seals plague a lot of these tools (not just Sears).
  11. Many, many years ago I replaced the flimsy fence on my Sears (yikes!) table saw with one made from Unistrut and a toggle clamp. Best tool improvement I ever made. Unistrut is useful for so many things.
  12. 1 reason for 3HP: 8/4 maple. That 1.75 HP motor will grind to a stop. Better yet, go 5HP.
  13. Look into Emtech from Target Coatings. I used it on our Teardrop Trailer 10 years ago. It holds up well. There are numerous flavors and some have high UV resistance. This stuff is good enough to go on Boeing's composite panels as a UV inhibitor.
  14. Hmm... around here I can get poplar or alder as cheaply as pine. They are somewhat harder.
  15. While it can be necessary to learn from our own mistakes sometimes, I find it much less costly to learn from other's. To introduce this topic, I will tell you one of mine and invite you to share yours -- if you dare. Many years ago I was using a router to flatten a large table top using that time-honored method of supporting the workpiece on a frame with walls on either side that support the router, mounted on a long board. The top was clamped in place with some narrow strips of wood between the bar clamps, both to protect the top and my expensive flat bottom router bit if I got too close to a clamp face. I was happily scrubbing away when that router bit made contact with one of those strips, and the entire strip, 1/4 x 3/4 x 48 inches of it disappeared. I had forgotten to tighten the clamps! I looked around for it and couldn't find it, but it had clearly struck something. Well, I got another strip out of the scrap bin and you can bet I tightened the clamps this time. Later that day, with the sun a little lower on the horizon, I noticed a 1/4 x 3/4 inch patch of light on the back wall. Where did that come from? The hole in my garage door, that's where! I went out to the driveway to see how far that piece of wood had gone. Not far, actually. It went through the grill and radiator of my car, but stopped before ruining the fan! My inexpensive table top had become a very expensive car repair bill and a new garage door. I look forward to some of your confessions