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Everything posted by workswood4food

  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 are
  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 sh
  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
  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
  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 surfa
  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
  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
  16. Ooh, I forgot to mention, if things are more than about 1/32 to 1/16 inch out of whack, you want to start with a scrub plane. You can make one with an old #3. Move the frog way back, put a wicked camber on the blade, set the chipbreaker about 1/4 inch from the edge, set for a fairly deep cut, and go at 45 to 90 degrees across the grain to knock off the high spots.
  17. I do not want you to be discouraged, but I suggest setting aside the oak for a while and get some nice 8/4 sugar pine or yellow pine that is relatively free of knots. By some, I mean maybe 50 to 100 board feet. Use that to practice on. You will find it easier to make a flat surface from one that is already relatively flat. When I started with hand tools, a friend dropped off a pile of waterbed frames from a second hand store. This was my raw material. I cut off the metal pieces, cut out the big knots, and went to work making usable lumber out of it. The wood cost nothing; nobody wanted the stu
  18. Nearly every chair I have seen has round tenons. Go for it. Try the Lee Valley tools or look on eBay for something called a hollow auger and get a brace while you are at it. Or, you suggested it, use a dowel. The problem will be accurately drilling the end grain of the stretcher or whatever. That can be tricky and I think a hollow auger would work better for you.
  19. Old, possibly out of print, but Tage Frid Teaches Woodworking is a 3 volume set and very, very good. Also, 2 thumbs up for Understanding Wood, already mentioned. Knowing how to use tools is half the battle, the other is understanding the material. Missing either will lead to disappointment, but having your china cabinet fail in a few years because you didn't understand wood movement when you built it would, to me, be more disappointing than not understanding everything about a table saw. Of course, read the tool book to learn how to use those tools safely.
  20. Cutting board material works pretty well with a hand plane. You can cut it oversize and nibble it down with a plane.
  21. Noob to the forum but long time woodworker. I am curious if any of you have any shop rules you are particularly proud of. I have three that have served me well: 1 - Always know where your fingers are. 2 - Never work when you're tired. 3 - Don't be stupid. Sometimes I have Scouts over to the shop to do some simple projects. We always start with a safety discussion, and I lay on them rules 1 and 3. They seem to get it. Any others out there I should know about?
  22. For years I looked on rasps with disdain. It seemed like anything I could do with a rasp I could also do with a spokeshave, a knife, or a chisel. And then I got old, i guess. I now own two Liogier rasps, hand made and much finer toothed than a hardware store rasp. I bought one, tried it, and really liked it. It is nothing like a hardware store rasp. I bought another, a bit finer cut, and really like it. I think I will buy more when I find a job these can't do. If you can, find someone who has one of these beauties and try it out along with a hardware store rasp. You will quickly learn why
  23. When I started this wood thing about 50 years ago I never heard of camber. Camber was for scrub planes; for everything else the blade was (and still is) dead straight. It's easy to sharpen that way. When I am happy with the edge I nick off the corners a bit if I know I am going to plane a table top, otherwise I leave them alone. To take the ridges off after planing I use a card scraper. It's fast, leaves the planed look, and produces a lot less dust than sandpaper. Now everybody thinks they need to camber blades. Here's what you should do: try it. If you don't like it, don't do it anymore. it
  24. Saw files come in different sizes, and the size to use depends somewhat on tooth size. Select a file that, when inserted in the gullet, the point of the tooth comes to about 45% of the width of the file. For your saw that could be anything from a needle file to a 5-6 inch extra slim or slim. The idea is to get the best use of your file you do not want to use more than 1/2 of the face or you will wear out the file before you can use all 3 corners. OTOH, Using a file that is too big gives you a very wide gullet, not good for fine teeth. Saw plates are pretty tough and modern files poorly made.
  25. I have several of these. Excellent planes. You can buy a replacement iron at These planes are still made and about the only affordable new wooden planes on the market. While they take a "Stanley style" blade, the steel is much thicker (~3/16 inch) and taper to fairly narrow as you get farther from the business end. There is a reason for this which I can explain if you wish. You will need to make a wedge to hold the blade in place. To get an idea what it should look like, take a look at any coffin plane at an antique store.