Inlay Disaster Averted

by on ‎01-07-2012 09:40 PM

Sure, I fouled up an inlay, but I think my fix made the piece look better in the end!

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Woodworking Spotlight: David E. Life

by on ‎10-16-2011 03:45 AM

At first glance, David Life seems like just your average cabinet shop owner.  But, there's part of the story that you will find so inspirtational.

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Species Spotlight: Spalted Maple

by on ‎09-25-2011 03:49 AM

Sure, it's rotting wood. BUT, what pretty rotting wood spalted maple is!

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Me, My Shelves and I

by on ‎09-11-2011 02:05 PM

Last year, I was building some shelves for a home office project. Here's the article I wrote about building the shelves...

 

 

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No, you don't have to be a Rod Stewart fan to understand the importance of a story stick.. but it helps if you can't understand his lyrics...

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Particle Board the Beautiful

by on ‎07-10-2011 10:19 PM

From some pretty lowly stuff, good projects emerge.  Well, not from the particle board itself...

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Woodworking Spotlight: Michael Iovino

by on ‎06-12-2011 07:20 AM

With Father's Day coming up, I wanted to pay a tribute to my dad, the guy who helped get me started in woodworking.

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A project post-mortem

by on ‎05-23-2011 03:32 AM

Sometimes, our woodworking mistakes are just so bad, you have to ditch the project. But, there is much to be learned from these foul-ups.

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Extinguishing characteristics…

by on ‎05-03-2011 03:29 AM

No one wants a fire in their shop, but here are some things you should keep in mind when choosing a fire extinguisher.

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Woodworking Spotlight: Matt Vanderlist

by on ‎04-03-2011 05:31 PM

The Podfather himself, Matt is one of the first woodworkers to have his own woodworking podcast....

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On the clock...

by on ‎03-27-2011 06:08 PM

How long does it take to finish a woodworking project? I put the stopwatch on while I work to see just how long it takes...

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Steel Yourself!

by on ‎03-13-2011 01:16 PM

What's the deal with steel?  A2? O1? Blue? We try to get to the bottom of the steel mystery...

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When you work with wood on edge on your router table, YOU don't want to be on edge!  Check out this push shoe that helps give you control of a work piece.

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It's a responsibility

by on ‎02-27-2011 05:58 PM

Responsible forestry helps ensure there is a future for woodworkers to come. Learn how to see if your supplier is part of the responsible forestry movement.

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Changing dovetail width with a fixed jig

by on ‎02-21-2011 03:20 AM

So, you think you can only cut one style of dovetails with a fixed jig?  No way... here's how I spaced my dovetails out...

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Panel Psychology

by on ‎02-13-2011 05:01 PM

Can Tom be smarter than the boards he's working with?

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You are virtually there

by on ‎01-30-2011 06:01 PM

Video games are getting more and more interactive... perhaps a woodworking one would be good to offer?

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A Toot for Flutes

by on ‎01-23-2011 04:45 PM

Discover how fluting can help your projects truly stand out.

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Stuff I’ve built: Purpleheart and Maple Cutting Board

by ‎01-16-2011 05:43 PM - edited ‎01-16-2011 05:44 PM

End grain cutting boards are very attractive and functional. That's why most of the ones I build end up at other people's homes... :smileywink:

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Species Spotlight: Bubinga

by on ‎01-10-2011 03:13 AM

It's the awesome wood with the funny name (according to my 12 year old son). See what's cooking with Bubinga.

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Resolve...

by on ‎12-31-2010 05:50 AM

With the New Year, it's time for woodworkers to make some resolutions...

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Merry Christmas, everybody!

by on ‎12-20-2010 03:50 AM

Here's a special message from me and Iggy, the Trained Shop Monkey.  Enjoy.

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'Twas some time before Christmas

by on ‎12-12-2010 05:45 PM

Last year, my monkey and I made some gifts.

We ran into trouble, it gave us both fits!

 

But, we worked it all out, my monkey and me.

Here's how we did it, you'll want to give this a see!

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Heaters… in… Space!

by ‎12-05-2010 05:51 PM - edited ‎12-05-2010 06:00 PM

I wish I could have used some Star Trek technology to heat my shop this past January... but, all I had was today's heater technology...

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Q&A About tail vises

by ‎11-28-2010 05:09 PM - edited ‎11-28-2010 05:10 PM

A picture on my blog sparks an interesting discussion about tail vises...

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The Shop Monkey Goes to School

by ‎11-21-2010 10:51 PM - edited ‎11-21-2010 05:19 PM

On Nov. 18, 2010, I went to my son's middle school to talk about woodworking.  Here's a write up and a video of the day...

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Woodworking Spotlight: Andrew Lunn

by on ‎11-15-2010 07:06 AM

Saw maker Andrew Lunn of Eccentric Toolworks builds some incredible functional works of art.  His hand-crafted saws are beautiful to look at and cut like a dream...

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Tools I use: My fine hand saws

by on ‎10-31-2010 06:05 PM

Investigate the strange case of how my fine hand saw collection has evolved over the years...

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  • October 2009

Sometimes in life, you meet people who serve as a great source of  inspiration and motivation.  For some, it might be a parent, a friend or a co-worker.  For those who served in the military, it may have been their drill instructor in basic training.

 

For me, this project started with a meeting with Ron Hock.  At the recent woodworking conference, Ron was there as a featured vendor.  At his table was a choice selection of his plane irons.  I told Ron I was considering purchasing a smoothing plane with a little more oomph than my Stanley No. 4.  Ron was quick to recommend that perhaps the best solution might be to build my own.

 

That’s when I laid out the money for a 2″ Hock iron and stared looking into plans for building a Krenov-inspired model.  With the plans from Popular Mechanics and some help from Bell Forest Products, I soon had a block of bubinga and instructions to work from.

 

 

Now, I’ll tell you I was terrified to start.  I mean, what if I had just wasted all that money on the iron and the wood? A few e-mails back to Ron brought more encouragement.  “Tom, look at it this way,” Ron wrote, “If you mess up badly, you are only out about a board foot or two of wood.  You can start over and do it again.”

 

The first part was easy… I had to edge and face joint the board to make everything nice and smooth.  Soon, the rough surface gave way to the lovely shade I had come to expect from bubinga.  Dead flat and four square.

 

 

The next step was easy as well…. Rip one cheek at one half inch, then the plane body at 2 1/16″ to accommodate the iron, then the other cheek.  I used a cabinetmaker’s triangle to ensure everything would stay oriented.

 

The directions then called for me to cut the plane body block at 45 degrees. At the table saw, this took only seconds, and the results were stunning.  Dead flat on the face and a true 90 degrees to the edge.

 

 

I put a 3/4″ router bit in my table mounted router in order to make a relief groove to accept the screw that holds the iron and the chipbreaker together.  Ron’s irons have a pretty beefy screw, but it was easy to center the bit on the block and make the cut.

 

By simply flipping the other body blank upside down, I formed the gullet of the plane.  The instructions said to file a flat spot at the miter point of the block that holds the iron, then space the two pieces 3/8″ apart to allow clearance for the iron.  I clamped both blocks to the cheeks and carefully marked where they had to be when I glued the plane together.

 

I took both cheeks and stacked them together, then drilled a 1/2″ hole through the cheeks at a mark in the gullet to receive the cross pin.  The plans called for me to create a complicated tennoned rotating pin to hold the wedge in place, but Ron advised me to just go with a fixed pin – it would save time and work just as well.  I took a length of 1/2″ oak dowel I had the shop and cut it a little longer than the plan called for so I would have excess I could trim.

 

 

Then came the glue up.  I lay one cheek flat on my bench and put glue on it – staying clear of the gullet area – then put the two body pieces in the places I had marked earlier.  Then, I put glue on the tops of the body halves and one end of the oak pin.  I slipped the oak pin into one of the cheeks and then put the other cheek on the top side of the assembly.

 

The next step I found to be critical.  Not only did I clamp the assembly together across the width, I also clamped it down to the bench to ensure things would line up.  Once I was satisfied, I went on to build the wedge.

 

After cutting an appropriate piece from the remaining bubinga, I put it into the vise and started to shape it with hand tools. I didn’t want to overshoot my thickness, so I worked carefully with a few rasps and a block plane to bring things down gradually.  Before long, I had the wedge to the right thickness and I was ready to work.

 

 

I took the plane out of the clamps, and started to shape it.  I cut the plane to length and then worked on rounding over the front and back edges.  I used the band saw, rasps and a belt sander – bubinga is tough stuff. Once I was happy, I flipped the plane over and ran the sander over the sole.  I wanted it dead flat, so I kept checking with a straight edge.  Once I had it nice and flat, I finished it off with a scraper to get the surface nice and smooth.

 

 

The came the moment of truth.  Would it even cut?  I put the iron in and tapped the wedge into place.  It took some fussing at first, but once I got the iron where I wanted it, it cut beautifully!  I do need to get my hands on a plane hammer – my carpenter’s mallet isn’t going to cut it adjusting the iron.  But, other than that, the plane works great.

 

The time invested was so small… one Sunday afternoon.  If I hadn’t stopped to watch football and tend to the laundry, it might have taken me about two hours. The results, however, were pretty spectacular.

 

Not a bad way to spend a weekend in the shop!

 

============

 

http://tomsworkbench.com

What I learned from Toshio Odate

by ‎09-26-2010 04:12 PM - edited ‎09-26-2010 04:20 PM

Learning about Japanese woodworking tools from a master of his craft can only be described as ... awesome... Read more...

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