SteveM

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About SteveM

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    Apprentice Poster

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  • Location
    Beaverton, OR
  • Woodworking Interests
    Furniture, remodeling, and neanderthal ways.
  1. The cost of doug fir shouldn't be too bad, but I share your pain with how sopping wet our construction lumber is. I find a 2x12 will lose about 1/2" in width as it dries and need a coat of paint on the end of the board or it will split, not to mention the 6-12 months needed to air dry. I didn't care for all of the knots in the lumber that I could find so I bought 8/4 poplar for the top of my bench. You could also look for alder or big leaf maple as they tend to be pretty cheap around here.
  2. SteveM

    #4 question

    Doesn't matter, you still polish the back and make sure the last 1/4" or so is flat and sharpen the bevel to about 30-degrees. The cutting edge is formed by both faces, not just the beveled face. Too high of a bevel angle and the heel hits the wood instead of the cutting edge, too low of a bevel angle and the edge is not well supported and will tend to chip and break. The 30-degree angle is just a happy medium for bevel-down Stanley pattern planes. You really do set up your plane to a specific purpose rather than say that a #3 plane is for "X" and a #4 for "Y" and a #5 is used for task "Z". For example, imagine a #4 plane with the frog set forward to close the mouth, the cap iron set very close to the cutting edge, and a finely polished blade. This plane will tackle tough grain and leave a very smooth finish, but would be lousy at thicknessing a board or cleaning up a rough saw cut as it is limited to a very fine cut. On the other hand a #4 with an open mouth and cap iron set back 1/16" from the cutting edge is good at hogging off material, but not so good at handling wild or reversing grain and creating a smooth surface. I've really enjoyed learning from Paul Sellers even if some of the information is scattered throughout project videos instead of condensed into a single catch-all video on how to use a plane. He is very good about showing how to get started with a a minimum set of affordable tools which is in stark contrast to the cost of equipping the Schwarz anarchist tool chest.
  3. SteveM

    #4 question

    Sharp fixes a lot of things so you might want to revisit that as the others have suggested. I've gone through three different methods of sharpening and they all led to a keen edge so don't get too caught up on which road to follow, use what you have for now. If your goal is a smoothing plane don't camber the entire blade, just the corners. You want to take a wide cut with a flat bottom and edges that feather out smoothly. If you're not sure what I mean watch this video and observe how he sharpens the blade flat then at the end works just the corners. https://youtu.be/vvTcReENk9g I'm surprised more sources don't discuss leveling of the blade and the serious implications it has for smoothing of large surfaces or planing an edge perpendicular. How you do this is you put a thin piece of stock into your vise then take a cut with the left side and the right side of the plane. Slowly nudge the lateral adjustment lever towards the side that is cutting a thicker shaving. Use your senses of feel and hearing just as much as the visual cues of the shaving being taken as your indicator of when both sides are taking an equal cut. Now that you're set up handle the plane gently so as to not knock the blade out of alignment.
  4. SteveM

    #4 question

    I would expect your #4 to be just the ticket to knock down those high spots, but it does need to be set up properly. The Paul Sellers videos will show you how to sharpen the blade and put a camber on the outer edges of the blade. You will need to make sure the sole is flat, but you also need to make sure that the lateral adjustment lever is set to level the blade or you'll cut deeper on one side and leave grooves in the panel. The best thing to do would be to setup a piece of pine or polar and practice on it as you tune up and learn to use the plane.
  5. I guess I would liken the promotion of these hardened saws to the beginner as like the sandpaper/abrasive paper sharpening method. It provides a low cost of entry with acceptable results, but few stick with it in the long run for various reasons. If someone is so strapped for cash that they can't afford an older saw and some files then I'd rather they buy a low cost new saw than nothing at all, but I won't personally endorse such short term methods out of hand. Logical argument: At my local home center a 20" saw is $20 and is well reviewed by people cutting 1x, 2x, and 4x construction lumber. I've read that they last for about 5 sharpening of the older saws. In my garage workshop I have 3 saws sharpened by Mike Wenzloff so I know what a sharp Disston is like. Two of those I paid about $120 each for ready to go and the third was bought for $5 and I paid Mike $20 to cut new teeth and talked saws while he sharpened it. My fourth saw is a 22" Atkins that I got from an estate for free and was my first attempt at sharpening using an $8 flat file and $6 taper Grobet files that can be used perhaps 20-30 times before wearing out. A new saw set can be had for $25 or a Stanley 42X for perhaps twice that. While I did pay more up front for the saws, files, and saw set, in the time that 5 modern saws would be consumed I could have spent $100 on them or $14 on Grobet files. If I decide that hand saws are not for me some eager person with a fist full of cash will be happy to pay me for my tools. Emotional argument: My very first attempt at saw sharpening by following the techniques learned from online videos didn't result in Wenzloff sharpness, but it wasn't far off and the pride it gave me is priceless. Some day my son's hands will grip those same saw handles and someday perhaps I will have grandchildren reaching for the same saw their crazy old grandfather used to use. I can't put a price tag on that.
  6. Those types of saws are a false economy and if we're lucky they get recycled instead of turned into landfill. While they do work well for cutting construction lumber, MDF, and plywood, they are not good at ripping solid wood and the kerf they make is wide enough to turn a car around in. I'd hate to think that someone trying to get into hand tools would determine that they do or don't like using quality hand saws based on the experience of using a modern induction hardened saw.
  7. I'd hold out for Disston or Akins, and not the newer stuff with harsh corners on the handle but the older ones where the grip is completed rounded. My handsaws are both Disston that I got from Jon Zimmers for about $125 each and they were both cleaned up and then sharpened by Mike Wenzloff. The other suppliers that Shannon mention are also good places to check. If you pick up a saw that needs reconditioned I can't imagine any better place for you to send them than Bob Rozaieski for sharpening as your are both in NJ and he only charges $20 per saw to sharpen.
  8. I started out with the MKII guide and sandpaper glued to glass. It was a cheap start but I used half of my stash of paper just getting a new set of chisels ready to work. So about a year ago I got a medium grit India stone, black Arkansas stone, and leather strop and started free handing. With the MKII I constantly ripped the sandpaper and my 1/2" chisel slipped a little in the guide without me noticing and now has an angle on it that I have yet to work out. Since starting free handing my sharpening is every bit as good as the MKII gave me and I can be back to work before you've even chocked up your tool into the guide. I thank Bob Rozaieski for his excellent sharpening videos that helped me move away from guides and sandpaper. By the way, the "hidden cost" of power tools is there too. How many saw blades and router bits do you have to buy? How do you keep them sharp?
  9. I've really been warming up to Paul Sellers lately as he has a very no nonsense view about tools and working with them. He's also got the resume to back his claims as he's been making a living from it his whole life and taught thousands. If you read his book and watch his videos you'll soon realize that you can do almost anything with a core set of about 10 tools. To make the point that you can do great work with budget tools he'll do stuff like build a project using the cheapest Chinese chisels that he could find. It really is a refreshing change from the all too common claims that you need the most expensive tools or the latest and greatest gadgets or else your project won't turn out. You asked specifically about plane sharpening so here is his method.
  10. Thank you all for the advice, I'll try to add some additional information for clarification. We're in a 1961 construction 1200 sq ft house that is typical value for the area and we are actually purposefully not doing any high end upgrades as they wouldn't look right in this house. We've been here 5 years and everything we've done since was been with the question of "Will we get our money back when we sell?" We don't always know for sure, but so far we've saved a lot and made the place nicer with DIY projects like a nice garden shed, new windows, new sub-panel and electrical in the garage, and site-finished hardwood floors (I had a pro do the sand and finish). We have no immediate plans to sell, but have no plans to stay here long term either so 5 years is probably the earliest we'd sell. I don't mind doing the work in a house I don't plan to die in, especially if I can turn my labor into equity. The idea is not to make high end cabinets by using hand cut joinery, but to see if anyone thought it would be reasonable to do it so that my tool purchases for the project can be for hand tools. If I have sloppy dovetails in the back of a kitchen drawer I'd just apply shims/putty and move on with my learning. I suppose what I could do is buy the hand tools and if she complains about the pace or I begin to question my sanity then I could go buy the dovetail jig too.
  11. My wife and I are looking at replacing our kitchen cabinets; quotes are about $6k-$7k for just the finished cabinets. Nothing fancy, just simple shaker style doors, white paint, and nothing we couldn't part with in 5-10 years when we sell. Like any handy man I can't help but think of the money I could save, the tools I could buy, and the skills gained if I did the job myself. My construction would be pre-finished maple ply, maple face frames, and maple drawer boxes with pre-finished maple plywood bottoms. Initially my thought was to buy the additional power tool accessories that I would need for this such as a Leigh dovetail jig, pocket hole screw jig, router bits, etc. Part of me says that if I am going to dovetail 20-24 maple drawers in a reasonable time frame then I had best use a router and dovetail jig, but another part of me wishes I could spend that $300 on hand tools instead. Is this a time when I need to just suck it up and use power tools or is it reasonable to try to do the solid wood joinery by hand? Should I need 6 months to build the drawers I would be sleeping with the dog regardless of her having full use of the kitchen while I do the building.
  12. What's so hard to believe? He clearly states that his goal is to make a workbench that is affordable and fits into a modern shop. Considering that he does very little with hand tools I think he came up with a good bench for him and many of his viewers. To be inspired by something does not mean you are going to duplicate it as closely as possible. Perhaps the inspiration he got was to make a bench out of commonly available materials that met the needs of the typical contemporary user, just like the original.
  13. That is outstanding! Thanks for sharing it and your own methods for holding the board. I'm currently trying to make do with a non-woodworking workbench without holdfast holes and the only area I can clamp into is the front edge. This will help me come up with a way to hold my work till that new bench is finished.
  14. This is on old thread by a 1 post wonder that will likely never see your helpful replies.
  15. From my Macbook Pro at home I get a time out on FF and Safari, but when I navigated to a proxy web browsing site it came up fine. At work on a Win7 laptop it comes up just fine on FF and IE. It's probably just an issue on my end either in a cache or service provider.