3-In-One Protection

IMG_1563[1]Walking through my local Walmart yesterday I spied a rack of 3-In-One Multi Purpose Oil…I hadn’t used this stuff I don’t think since I was in my mid-teens, cleaning my guns after a day of target practice. Of course it was in the flat tin cans at that time (with the handy spout on top), but it’s the same great oil inside. That got me thinking about rust protection/lubrication for my woodworking planes, chisels etc. Since I became interested in woodworking I have always used WD-40 to clean my tools, but that’s all it seems to do really, it doesn’t seem to leave any lasting protection. Some use Camellia oil, mineral oils and scented baby oils that irritate the senses, but when I saw the 3-In-One, that seemed to be the ticket. I finished my shopping and before I left grabbed a couple bottles of oil off the shelf and a pack of microfiber rags for application of the golden elixir.

I had done a lot of planing on the panels for the toolchest and needed to do some sharpening, so that seemed the time to do a teardown to lubricate and protect my planes at the same time. I must say it worked really well, and several hours later it hadn’t all evaporated away like my WD-40 treatments of past. I kind of like the smell too…don’t judge me…IMG_1564[1]“To clean, lubricate and protect”-The 3-In-One mantra

Tool Chest-Tails

Very cold in the shop/outside today, but did manage to get a start on the dovetails on the chest. Tails sawn:IMG_1553Waste chiseled out leaving baseline:IMG_1554Chiseled out to baseline and trimmed:IMG_1559IMG_1561Now just have to cut the tails on the back, then the pins on the ends.

Tool Chest-Finally Started…

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have been thinking for some time of building myself a toolchest to store all my hand tools. I had originally thought of building a slant front style chest but after thinking it over I thought this would just be too limiting, so I am going with a traditionally styled dovetailed toolchest instead as I think it will give me greater flexibility in the long run.

Yesterday I went to the home center and picked out a couple of 12 foot 1×12 pine boards with only a couple of small tight knots and reasonably straight grain…this should yield enough stock to cut and glue up the sides of my chest. Final dimensions will be approx. 40Lx22Hx21W.

I started out grain matching and cutting my pine to rough overall size for the chest sides. Once complete and having decided which boards were getting glued together I started jointing the edges with my Stanley No.8. My method is to match plane…that is, lay out the boards as you want them positioned and fold them together and place them in the vise and use the jointer plane to joint both edges together. This method guarantees a straight panel, as planing both edges together gives you complimentary angles, which may not be 90 degrees, but when folded back out flat adds up to 180 degrees every time…hence the flat panel:IMG_1530Once jointed, I glued up the panels and set them aside to dry:IMG_1532Once two panels were clamped up, I took the opportunity to grab a bite and about an hour later I unclamped the panels and repeated the above for the other two chest sides. Then I started to finish plane the panels I had previously unclamped:IMG_1541IMG_1542Once the other two panels had set up a sufficient amount I planed them as well. I had forgotten how much of a workout planing is:IMG_1548Barrel is almost full…IMG_1545At this point I took a breather for a bit then went ahead and sized my panels to their final dimensions on the table saw with a crosscut sled:IMG_1549IMG_1550That’s it for today!


Veritas Twin Screw Mods

Several yeas ago I saved my pennies and splurged on the relatively new (at the time) 24″ Veritas Twin Screw Vise. I debated, and finally settled on a face vise install vs. end vise. Before I purchased the Veritas I relied on my trusty Record No.52 for my workholding needs, so the record took a backseat to the twin screw and was relocated to the end vise position. This layout has worked well for me and today this is still how my bench is laid out.

All was sunshine and lollipops for the first while after installing the Veritas…but once the novelty wore off things started to bug me. For one thing, the two screws, actually no…the two screw handles…are a PITA. Especially the inboard screw…it was always in the way, and sticking up above the benchtop. Thats easy it would seem, just back off the nifty brass screws that fix the handles in place and let the handle slide down out of the way! But then the clickety clack of screw handles slamming back and forth drove me nuts while adjusting the vise, but not for long…after a day or so the inboard handle clattered to the floor…the screwed on handle end split and the handle fell out. Perfect…I glued the split handle end and re-installed the handle and used the “nifty” little brass thumbscrews to keep the handles in position.

Also, the nifty little handle that is on the drive screw (you know, the little steering wheel knob doohickey), kept unscrewing itself and coming off in my hand…@&#@%@%!*$&!!!!

Then after a while the vise became very stiff to close the last 3/4″ or so…after a few minutes I discovered that the vise jaw had shrunk a bit and the nifty steel rods that keep your stock from hitting the screws no longer lined up perfectly with the hole in the jaw…I had drilled the holes the same size as the rods, so here’s a hint: Drill these large enough to accommodate any wood movement and you will not have any clearance problems.

All these niggling little problems started me wondering if I had wasted my time on the twin screw…should I go back to the Record No.52? But the twin screw was so handy…cutting dovetails and joints were great in the twin…Frack!!! What to do, what to do…I unscrewed the end of the handle on the inboard screw (“The Nutcracker”, as it were) and removed it so it wasn’t in the way. Now it looked stupid with the cast handle head still there, so I got a punch and hammer and drove out the pin and removed the head. This left just a part of the smooth shaft protruding about an inch past the faceplate. then I looked at the handle that was left on the outboard side…I wanted to remove that little bastard of a thumbscrew and let the handle float freely, but I knew that the end would split off like before. I had a length of dowel in the shop the correct size, so I cut a length about half again as long as the Veritas handle and bored and screwed two ends in place with 3″ screws and installed it. These have not split off, or screws loosened since I installed it. Oh yeah…trashed the steering wheel knob too!

Then some minor adjustments to compensate for my modifications…To compensate for removing the inboard handle, I made adjustments to allow the right side of the vise to close JUST before the left side to ensure a consistant grip. Then while I had things apart I planed a slight taper on the vise jaw so that the top closed before the bottom for that extra firm hold. After I got things all re-assembled I realized that the screw on the inboard side was the one with the mechanism to allow the jaw to be skewed for angled work (the one I had removed the handle from) so I ripped it all apart AGAIN…and re-assembled with the screws switched side to side and re-installed the handle on that side and removed from the other…Whew!!!

So how does it work? Well, I am pleased with it as it sits and have been for a good while. Much more convenient to use and I no longer contemplate returning to a regular face vise. Not saying you should do this to yours if you have one, but the ideas are yours to steal if you like…

A couple pics (excuse the dust and shavings):


Pellet Stove Hearth Pad Molding

Several weeks ago a friend at work mentioned he was interested in making a molding to go around the tile pad under his pellet stove. He had aquired a large slab of maple and intended to use this to make the molding. After discussing the possibilities several times I offered to make the molding in my shop…we just needed to decide on a profile.

We discussed a large cove and bead type profile but settled on a bevel instead…more foot friendly. A few weeks ago he brought me the maple and after a week of procrastinating I started cutting and planing. I ripped a strip wide enough to get the two molded strips I needed and ran one side and edge through the jointer, which yielded a nice surprise:


Maple is not normally my favorite wood, but this piece had a nice curly grain. I ran it through the thickness planer to bring it to the desired dimensions and then started rummaging around my selection of router and shaper knives to find a beveled profile that would work. All I have is 45 degree bits and knives…this seemed too steep for the look I was going for, so I decided to cut the bevel on the table saw and finish with the hand plane. Here is the result:


And a couple 90 degree shots…



The last thing I did was to put a small relief cut on the backside where it fits against the tile to ensure the molding fits tightly against the tile. Tonight he sent me a picture of his installation…Looks great Chris!IMG_1491[1]

Steel Honing Plates and Diamond Paste

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to the city for the day…of course this meant a trip to the local Lee Valley store. I had nothing in mind as far as purchases, so I headed directly for the clearance center for a browse…after a quick scan I was about to leave when I spotted a box that had a sticker on it:


Interested, I opened the box:


4 Steel Honing Plates for 2 bucks each…JACKPOT!!!!

These normally retail for $25 each and there were 4 in the box, so I threw them under my arm and headed for the checkout like a bandit! Total $8 plus tax…not including the diamond paste of course. Why so cheap? On my initial observation I noticed that the plates must have been dropped or damaged somehow, and each one had a few nasty dings on the edges. But each of the four had a good side with minimal edge damage. Since I was only going to use the one good side anyway, all it took to make them useable was a few swipes with a file to slightly chamfer the edges and remove any burrs etc.

Today I tried them out along with the diamond paste I picked up on a couple of plane irons…IMG_1490[1]

Very impressed with the results I got on the first try…nice fluffy 1 3/4 inch wide shavings in mildly curly maple. I used the 6 micron paste followed by 1 micron on another plate, and finished up with a couple strokes on the strop charged with green chromium. This is my Richards & Conover No. 4 1/2 smoother…previously I had a difficult time getting a really good edge on this iron, disappointing, because it is almost full length and thicker than the comparable Stanleys…but the plates and diamond paste put a very keen edge on it.

My plan is to make some traditional wooden boxes (ala Paul Sellers) for the honing plates to keep them clean and protected.