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!

Narex Chisel Set Unboxing & Test Drive – Part 1

I recently received the seven piece set of Narex chisels on sale currently at Lee Valley. Over on thewoodwhisperer.com site, Marc recently did a video of his sharpening system. I commented on the post saying it was timely since I was expecting my shipment of these chisels. He replied back that lots of folks were inquiring about these chisels, and was interested in my thoughts on them. Given that, I thought this would be a good opportunity to do an “unboxing & test drive” video. Enjoy!

My First Lie-Nielsen and French Cleat Tool Storage System

I hope everyone had a great Holiday season and that the New Year is treating you well. I haven’t posted much since the Holiday season kept me pretty busy, but I actually did have some things I did in December and beginning of January that I think are worth posting.

I went to a Lie-Nielsen tool event in October of 2009 which I was really impressed with, so when they were coming back to the area (this time in Beverly, MA), I went… with a budget. While there, I picked up this sweet dovetail saw – my first Lie-Nielsen tool.

I also got some time in the shop to work on some organization. I have one section of wall in my basement that was an ideal place to put a French Cleat system, which makes it much more functional than looking at a stone foundation wall. I got this idea from The Wood Whisperer (Episode 106). Basically the idea is to have a cleat cut at the top at 45 degrees toward the wall, then you make custom hangers for your tools with a mating 45 degree hanger.

For my setup I put up some 2×4’s, then mounted pine panels to them. I then put up some basic trim the same thickness as the cleats (3/4″). Of course I had to make it “official” by putting up my “The Wood Lab” sign.

And what was my first hanger? One for my shiny new Lie-Nielsen dovetail saw of course! I’ve posted some pictures below.

WGBH and Thomas MacDonald

In my last post I talked about the Major League Woodworking tools that I acquired last fall. Well, since then, Tommy has been rebranding both his site and tool line due to an agreement made between himself and WGBH in Boston for a woodworking show! I posted a video from the Folding Rule podcast that has the announcement from the New England Home Show. Tommy’s podcasts have always been a great and entertaining source of woodworking information.

Congratulations Tommy!

Grand Slam! Major League Woodworking Tools

I know, I know… I’ve been terrible of late in posting things… both here and my other blog. The Holidays and working some OT last month threw me off the schedule a bit. Last November, I took a visit to my local woodworking supply store, Beaver Woodworking, which had some of Major League Woodworking’s Grand Slam tools. I’ve been trying to organize the shop a bit, but took some time last weekend to do some “test chiseling”, and I must say it was much easier to control the chisel when using a proper mallet (I haven’t owned any mallets prior to this one).

The kit comes with the baseball bat shaped mallet, a marking gauge, and paring blocks. I posted a few pics below.

The tools come in a well packaged box, there is also a layer of the foam that was over the tools to protect them.

The baseball bat styled mallet.

The marking gauge.

The paring blocks.

I must say I am pleased with the quality of the maple wood used in making these tools. The marking gauge slides well, and locks down easily. It also has a more of a knife-like marker rather than a point like marker, which I think will make for a better mark that cuts the fibers more easily. If you’re not in the southeastern part of Massachusetts, you can order them directly from Major League Woodworking’s site. You can also find a video review of these on Marc Spagnuolo’s (a.k.a. the Wood Whisperer) site, under the “Whisperer Minis” section.

Great quality and a very fair price in my opinion. These will be staple items in my shop.

Lie-Nielsen Tool Event – Mystic, CT

I had some time off I needed to burn before the end of the year, and was able to take one day to take the hour and a half drive and head down to Mystic, CT October 30 to attend the Lie-Nielsen Tool Event. My goal, being new to woodworking, was to get as much education as I could. I wanted to see what a quality plane should feel like. This show certainly exceeded my expectations.

Deneb Puchalski from Lie-Nielsen was demonstrating how to flatten a rough piece of walnut. He would go through each of his steps in good detail as he prepped the walnut using a scrub plane, then the low angle jack plane with toothed blade, switch out the blades to a standard one, then move on to the #8 jointer, then the #4 1/2 smoother, using techniques using pencil lines to help you see where material was being removed, etc. Once he did the demo, the piece was flipped over and it was our turn to actually do some work! Not only did I get to use the plane, but Deneb was great about providing tips and help us correct mistakes in our technique. Nothing like hands-on experience!

Most of my time was spent at that bench, but I also did have the opportunity to talk with Bob Zajicek from Czeck Edge Hand Tools. Bob gave me a good demo on how to sharpen a card scraper… I have the card scraper, just need a burnisher now…

Some pics I took with my phone (yes, I forgot the regular camera)…

Show was in the building in the background.

Deneb during his demonstration.

The assortment of hand tools.

Our turn…

Some of those shavings are MINE…

Czeck Edge Hand Tools.