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derekcohen last won the day on November 23

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About derekcohen

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    Journeyman Poster

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  • Location
    Perth, Australia
  • Woodworking Interests
    Building furniture predominantly with handtools

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  1. derekcohen

    Smoothing plane

    Stanley #4 can do a superb job of smoothing - as good as any premium plane ... better in the right hands, which means with the right set up! Mouth size is important, but not what you think. If using a high cutting angle (55 degrees and above), a tight mouth makes absolutely no difference ... other than getting in the way. It definitely gets in the way of the chipbreaker if you close this down. With these setups, you must open the mouth. Try setting the chipbreaker close on the #4 - open the mouth by an extra 1-2mm, and then close the chipbreaker to about 0.4mm behind the edge of the blade. Further back than this and the method does not work when taking fine shavings. This will also test how well you have tuned the underside of the leading edge of the chipbreaker. If not done well, you will jam in shavings. Regards from Perth Derek
  2. derekcohen

    Smoothing plane

    There are two ways to go for dedicated smoothing planes - many varieties of these two, but two basic choices: either you are going to go high cutting angle, or closed up chipbreaker. The high cutting angle can be a BD planes in metal, such as the LN with high angle frog or Veritas Custom, or in wood, such as a HNT Gordon. In a BU plane, there are LN and Veritas versions. Planes using a closed up chipbreaker may include Stanley, LN, and Veritas Custom. If you wish to go down the route of a high cutting angle, then please do not get a metal BD smoother with a high angle frog. You will soon discover that it is much, much harder to push. Tiring. The better alternative is either a BU plane with a high secondary micro bevel (I advise against blades with high angle primary bevels as they are difficult to camber. Only get 25 degree blades, and then add a cambered 50 degree secondary micro bevel). The absolute best BU smoother is the Veritas BU Smoother. (I modified my BUS) .. The advantage of a high cutting angle in a BD plane is that one only needs to hone the blade, and away you go. The only high cutting angle BD plane I know that works effortlessly, and with high performance, is the wooden HNT Gordon smoother (60 degrees). It has a low centre of effort, which is what distinguishes it from metal BD planes. Then we get to the BD planes with double irons (chip breakers). The advantage here is that the standard bed angle allows a lower cutting angle, which translates into easier pushing and a cleaner surface. Setting a closed up chipbreaker takes a little practice, but is the ultimate smoother, and better than any of the others above (a test of this is planing the centre junction of a book matched panel). The two I fancy here are the LN #3 or #4, and the Veritas Custom #4, all with common angle frogs (45 degrees). The Veritas has the advantage of PM-V11 steel for the blade, which is probably the best available currently. I even use it in my LN #3. Note: I have both the LN # and #4 1/2 in bronze. I have large hands. The #3 has a handle from the #4. It is used much of the time. The #4 1/2 is hardly used - it is just too heavy and cumbersome. Smoothers need to be nimble. Regards from Perth Derek
  3. derekcohen

    Opinions on the Nova Saturn DVR Lathe with Stand?

    The extension is 500mm, which increases the spindle turning capacity to 1100mm (43"). The lathe runs on 230v, which sets the power at 2.3 h.p. No belts with DVR - direct drive to the spindle means silent and powerful! mmmmm Regards from Perth Derek
  4. derekcohen

    Opinions on the Nova Saturn DVR Lathe with Stand?

    Just for closure, I ended up with the Nova Saturn DVR ... This includes the bed extension and cast iron legs. This is one heavy machine! Regards from Perth Derek
  5. derekcohen

    Coffee table for my nephew

    Jarrah is indigenous to South Western Australia ... about 3 or 4 hours drive south of Perth. It has been introduced on the Eastern side of Australia, but it is a slow growing tree. Much of Western Australia is a desert, with a green strip running along the coast. Summer is about 8 months of the year, with temperatures often running 35-40 Centigrade. The wood is hard and interlocked ... some of the hardest in the world. Jarrah is hard, and wears tool steel down far quicker compared to most of what you have in the States. So much of the Jarrah has been abused - used for roads and piers, and railways for over a century. I guess it was not until late in the past century that we had the machines to work it into furniture. Now it is almost gone ... I shall be posting on this build in the coming weeks. I spent this weekend installing a new lathe - Nova Saturn ... gad, that is one heavy beast! Powerful beast .. 2.3 hp. Mmmmm Regards from Perth Derek
  6. derekcohen

    Coffee table for my nephew

    The thickness will remain constant as a fillet (or filler piece) will be glued along the inside corner, and then shaped for the corresponding curve with a hollow plane. Regards from Perth Derek
  7. I have begun the build, but was planning on a little more work before posting, since is just prep at this stage. This is the design chosen by my nephew .. There shall be a few interesting challenges along the way since I am using solid wood all the way. The joinery will be rounded corners shaped from through dovetails, mitred at each side. The challenge is to have accurately cut and fitted dovetails in hard Jarrah (no compression) as the outside will be removed in the rounding process. The other challenge is the splayed and angled legs which, for added strength, will be fitted to a traditional stretcher design, that is, the legs and rails will be mortice-and-tenon joinery. The legs will splay from the corners. Lastly, the drawer will extend the full width, and be opened from either end. No handles.Beginning the prep by resawing some really nice Fiddleback Jarrah, which will be the top and sides. The length of the coffee table is 1000mm ... I was watching the boards come out of the blade, keeping an eye on the kerf for movement. This even kerf told me that the boards were going to be well-mannered and stable ...Here's an example of the figure. These boards will be bookmatched to create a width of 500mm ...The lower side of the coffee table will be made of more "common" narrower Jarrah boards (still extremely nice!). I picked up a length 4m long, and then joined three together to get the width ...The boards were stickered for a week ..Some may have liked to have accentuated the centre figure this way when book-matching ...Too busy for my liking.I preferred this ...And this is where I left the boards at the end of last weekend ...I'll get back to the build this weekend, although Saturday morning I am picking up a new lathe (Nova Saturn DVR). I think that this will do a better job turning the legs than my current Jet mini Regards from PerthDerek
  8. I am close to purchasing this lathe. I plan to get the bed extension as I do spindle turning for table and chair legs. I have done little bowl turning to date (moving up from a Jet mini plus bed extension!), but plan to in the future. I'd like to hear any user reviews - likes/dislikes. Note that in Oz we have 230v, which means the lathe has 2 hp. Regards from Perth Derek
  9. My Dust Collector is just a generic 2 hp machine which I have had for about 10 years. It is linked to a dust separator (Super Dust Deputy), which does a decent job, and most of the dust is collected in the steel bin. The whole arrangement is due for upgrade at some time (I'd like a dedicated cyclone), but until then I have made a couple of mods to make it less of an irritation to use.The first mod I made some while back was to connect the SDD to a chain attached to the ceiling ...This made it easier to unclip the lid when it was time to empty the bin. It just hangs around, as they say ...But by far the biggest irritation was having to replace the plastic bag. This would fill when I forgot to empty the steel bin. The next thing I knew, the bloody bag was full and it needed to be replaced! That involved unstrapping the bag, and refitting another. It was a little easier to hold in place by first taping it down, then adding more tape to seal the connection, and finally attaching the steel strap. I really hated this procedure, and finally hit on a simple way to make changes easier.What I wanted to do was use a second steel bin in place of the plastic bag, which I had already, but I could not think of a way to connect it efficiently. Then the simplest solution finally percolated through my skull ... use the plastic bag!First step is to add a gasket (door sealer) to the edge of the bin ...Then cut off the bottom of the bag, tuck it over the bin, and use the clamp to seal it up ...This is what it looks like with the DC running ...It is early days, and I have not yet experienced any problems. Any dust that does get into the DC bin is easy to see through the clear plastic. Now I need to do something about keeping an eye on the dust collecting in the DSS bin. Any ideas?Regards from PerthDerek
  10. derekcohen


    It is not only blue tape that is helpful when working to close tolerances, but the use of marking gauges to transfer measurements, rather than re-measuring and marking each time. Keep a few marking gauges, such as wheel gauges, set up with the frequent sizes you need. It is common that I use about 5 at one time. Regards from Perth Derek
  11. derekcohen

    Sharpening Help

    Hi Lark Is the secondary bevel different from a micro bevel? If so, how do I know I have both? Yes, they are different, however it is common for many to call them the same. A secondary bevel is a bevel that is honed at a higher angle (e.g. 30 degrees) to the primary bevel (e.g. 25 degrees). A micro bevel is a tiny (hence "micro") bevel. You can have a micro bevel as a secondary bevel, however when hone flat on a hollow grind (that is, without changing the angle), it is not a secondary bevel. Does it matter how much of the back has the polished finish? Whole thing? First few inches? Ideally, the entire length of the chisel or plane back is flat. But this does not mean polished. The back of a plane blade needs to be flat/coplanar in order that it registers securely. The back of a chisel may need to register on a guide or jig for paring. It is sufficient to polish the immediate back of the bevel, which may be as small as 1/8". It is just easier to do 1". Regards from Perth Derek
  12. derekcohen

    An old project

    Remove the top. Keep the base. Float the TV above the base by attaching it to the wall. Regards from Perth Derek
  13. derekcohen

    Coffee Table

    Thanks. My wife thinks so as well Regards from Perth Derek
  14. derekcohen

    Coffee Table

    It's been a long time since I made a coffee table. This one is for my son, who recently moved to Sydney. New city, new job. He has found a great apartment, and has begun to request furniture, first a coffee table to replace an Ikea piece his girlfriend purchased. I think that he is playing with fire! No, she's great It's a long weekend in a fortnight, and Lynndy and I plan to visit. (We have family in Sydney, and old friends from when we lived there 30 years ago). My idea was to build a coffee table and take it on the plane as a sort of surprise (he knows I am building it, but will not expect it this way). Fun, eh? So, I needed a knock-down design. And a design along the lines of Danish Modern, which would fit in nicely in his home. I was taken with a piece by a Japanese maker, Ishitani. He has some great builds on YouTube which are worth looking up. Inspiration came from this design of his ... The top lifts off ... ... and the legs come apart ... The coffee table required two weekends to complete. That's a nice change from the pieces I've been building. The wood is Hard Maple. I've grown to like this stuff. I made a few changes to the design. Firstly, it is a little slimmer and larger (I think): 38" long x 28" wide and 16 1/2" high. Plus a few modifications. Here's the table ... To take this shot I had to crawl on the carpet. Much of the underside is unlikely to be seen, even at a distance. Here's what it looks like underneath. Where Ishitani left his rails straight, I've added a curve (you know me and curves) .. The legs come off for packing flat ... Join at the centre ... Ishitani connected breadboard ends with a dovetailed spline. I have used a true drawbored breadboard construction. The weather in Sydney changes from dry cold in Winter to high humidity in summer. I did not think that a dovetail would cope with this. Gotta show a tool - these were made with a Veritas Jack Rabbet (to balance the recent post of a power router for the mortices) ... Another change is the legs are connected with hex bolts. I really could not envisage the coffee table living a life with a loose top .. This was a very straightforward build. The only slight challenge was the legs - turning them precisely, and then morticing for the rails. The mortices were first cut in the blanks .. .. and then turned .. That's Peter Galpert's caliper on the lathe bed. I really recommend it for sizing spindles. The tenons were fitted into the mortice ... ... and marked out: .. before being rebated (is that the correct term here?) for the shoulder ... And that was it. Finish was a coat of Livos Universal Wood Oil to add a little amber to the very light maple. Then 5 coats of General Finishes water based poly was rubbed on for durability. This adds a little shine. Looks great. Can't wait to see Jamie's face! Regards from Perth Derek
  15. derekcohen

    Making mortices and tenons

    CO, keep in mind that I am not a longstanding user of the Domino. Others may not experience my frustration. The problem I have with the dominos is that (1) you need to use more than one to get the width to prevent twisting, and (2) the joinery is difficult to unglue, should you need to do so. Regards from Perth Derek