Tag Archives: Hand Tools

10 – Accordion Style Christmas Tree Decoration

Shop time has been a bit in short supply lately. I had a couple of days off this week where I was able to spend some quality time there finally.

Sometimes a small, easy project is great to get back into the groove and get a feeling of accomplishment that you got to finish something. In this video, I make a small Christmas Tree decoration that has an accordion style to it. To make it more interesting, I adhered sheet music of “Silent Night” to it.

After a mistake and redo, I finished the project, and then celebrated in a fashion that I think Nick Offerman would approve.

Books seen:
Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop by Nick Offerman.

Hybrid Woodworking: Blending Power & Hand Tools for Quick, Quality Furniture by Marc Spagnuolo.

Make Your Own Cutting Boards: Smart Projects & Stylish Designs for a Hands-On Kitchen by David Picciuto.

The Minimalist Woodworker: Essential Tools and Smart Shop Ideas for Building with Less by Vic Tesolin.

Nick Offerman’s original Yule Log video.

(** Please drink responsibly **)

9 – Argh! Rust!

I recently went into the shop after a few weeks of not being able to spend as much time in there as I would like, only to discover some rust on my combination square!

So, this video talks about what I think happened, how I fixed it, and what general steps I take to try and prevent rust on my tools.

What do you guys do to prevent rust in your shop? Leave a comment!

Links to the products I mention are below:

SlipIt
Jojoba Oil
Sandflex block (Fine)

A Bit of a Catch Up Post

The first half of 2015 really didn’t turn out to be much of a great woodworking period for me for various reasons. It hasn’t been until the last couple of months that I’ve been able to get any significant shop time, but now that I have been able to get more shop time, I wanted to get back to the site.

That doesn’t mean I’ve been totally idle though. This past summer, I was able to get what I consider two pretty cool things done that have been on my list for a while.

July – Lie-Nielsen Open House

I was able to take a comp day on the Friday of Lie-Nielsen’s open house this year. I’ve wanted to head up to Maine the last couple of years to see where some of the nicest hand tools are made. (I had to work on Saturday, which made it a somewhat anti-climatic Saturday, but I digress.)

I took what normally would have been a 3 1/2 hour drive, but with a Dunkin’ Donuts large iced coffee with my breakfast on the road, it made for closer to a 4 hour drive with “pit stops”. I arrived, and it was great. We got a tour of the facility from one of the employees – a very nice guy who mentioned he was originally from Plymouth, MA, (a stone’s throw from me) and we got to some small talk of things in this area. They had many folks demonstrating both outdoors under their tent and in their upstairs education workshop. I placed a low angle jack plane on order, and got to meet the man himself, Thomas Lie-Nielsen, who proceeded to apologize a couple of times for not having them in stock that day, but he was sure I’d love it when it came in. It came in the next week, along with an extra toothed blade, and yes, I do love it. It’s an excellent tool that I will continue to find many uses for. Thus far my main use has been as a shooting plane and a small jointing plane for smaller pieces.

August – I Finally Got a Bandsaw!

I’ve had a good bandsaw on my list for a few years now. Every time I got close to being able to pull the trigger, life would throw a bit of a curveball and we’d have to reallocate the funds.

The stars aligned quite nicely for this. I was able to sell a small amount of some stock that had vested at the time Woodcraft was having a nice sale, which also coincided with a Massachusetts sales tax holiday! It was an estimated savings of about $160-$170 between the sale and no sales tax.

So a very nice Laguna 14 Twelve bandsaw now sits in my shop! With the low ceilings in the basement, I had to double check all the measurements before buying to make sure I could fit it in there.

I've since started
I’ve since started “decorating” it with some stickers…

So we’re caught up… mostly. The project on my bench that I’ve resumed is a coffee table. The leg assemblies are mostly together with the exception of some trim pieces. Once that’s done, on to the top, and then finish!

More to come on that…

A Woodworking Mindset During An Unintended Hiatus

Unfortunately, various events of late have kept me from getting into the shop as much as I would like. From end of summer and back to school, to giving my dad some extra help as my mother has experienced increasing health issues the last few weeks, I haven’t spent too much time in the shop from mid-August onward.

I did however, get a few hours on a Friday a couple of weeks ago to attend the Lie-Nielsen hand tool event in Manchester, CT. I have to say it was nice getting back into a woodworking setting and mindset. This particular event in Manchester, CT was hosted at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking. I’ve been to a few other Lie-Nielsen events, but this one by a good margin was the largest. Lie-Nielsen will often have another vendor or two with them, but there were several at this event: Tico Vogt (premium shooting board maker), Fine Woodworking Magazine, Catherine Kennedy (Tool Engraving), and others who I forget their name, but dealt with molding and wooden hand planes. If you have never been to one of these events, you owe it to yourself to try and get to one. You can test drive any tool they have there, and you get a great feel for what a quality, sharp tool should feel like. Ask a question, and you’ll get a detailed answer and/or a great demonstration.

So here are a few pics:

 

A Day At Fine Woodworking Live 2013

This post is following my usual theme of “better late than never”…

I got the chance a few weekends ago to spend a day in New Haven, CT to attend Fine Woodworking Live. The event was the whole weekend, however Fine Woodworking also offered day passes for this year’s event. Not to get into too much personal info, but since I have a special needs son, which has meant a very “tag-team” approach for my wife and I, I’m very happy the day passes were offered. I could go for the day, and be back that night.

It was great to see a couple of folks I hadn’t seen in a while, and meet for the first time others. Getting to spend time with fellow woodworkers is always a great part of an event like this. The day began with a presentation to all the attendees, and was then followed by the classes. What was nice is that the most popular classes (determined by a survey they gave to attendees prior to the event) were offered at multiple times. The common thing I took away from the event was the approachability of the instructors and the Fine Woodworking employees at the event. All the folks I spoke with either after classes or in the hallway were easy going and willing to answer questions and feedback.

Of course I took some pics while there (click on each for larger image):

I think I would be remiss if I didn’t share my thoughts on Fine Woodworking as an organization. When I first became interested in woodworking, my impression of Fine Woodworking was that it would be the magazine I would get once I “got good” at woodworking. It was the magazine for folks that had a great deal of experience, which I had yet to obtain. Shortly afterwards, I was invited by the Modern Woodworkers Association to take a tour of their offices and shop in Newtown, CT. It was then that I figured it might be a good time to check out the magazine, so I subscribed.

Once I had magazine in hand and took part in the tour, I realized my first impression was a bit off. With their mix of editor and contributor authored articles, it is a very much “how-to” magazine, with content suitable for multiple experience levels. When on the tour with Matt Kenney and Mike Pekovich, it was clear they were regular guys with a love for the craft.

Now that I’ve been a subscriber for a couple of years, attended Fine Woodworking Live, and listened to their podcast Shop Talk Live for some time now, it’s clear to me that they are working hard to lose any image they’ve had as a publication only for the professional or well experienced hobbyist with an aloof air to it. Shop Talk Live I find entertaining, and they don’t hide the fact that mistakes will be made (Smooth Moves is great section of their podcast).

So for anyone reading that may have a notion that Fine Woodworking is not for the everyday hobbyist or new woodworker, I would say to give them another look. Check out the magazine and their online membership, as well as their Shop Talk Live podcast. Of course, if you can make it to next year’s Fine Woodworking Live, I would highly recommend it. Even if you can’t make the whole weekend, I hope they will continue to offer the day passes – it was definitley worth going.

Narex Chisel Set Unboxing & Test Drive – Part 2

I finally got some supplies to start flattening and sharpening the Narex Chisels I got from Lee Valley a while back. So here is part 2 of the test drive where I compare a tuned up chisel to one of the ones untouched out of the box. I’ll also over go over some of my sharpening setup. Thanks to Kari Hultman and Mike Morton for the info they provided me recently regarding my waterstone!

FYI – Lie-Nielsen’s YouTube that I mention in the video is back online here under their new account. Their sharpening guide can be found here.

Part 2 Of The Narex Chisel Test Is Coming… Really

I wanted to post this quick note because I had really wanted to post the second part of the Narex chisel test by now. I received my waterstone, and when I double checked them for flat, I noticed that there was a slight hump in the middle. I have on my list a DMT diamond stone to flatten the waterstone, so once I allocate the funds for that, I’ll get it and be back in business!