Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kreg Automaxx Clamps

Kreg Automaxx Face Clamp 3-inch Reach

   Once again KREG has demonstrated their commitment to development and improvement. 

You Tube features an assortment of video reviews of these new clamps: Kreg Automaxx Clamps.  The automaxx clamp feature on the bench clamps is a real bonus when working on the Klamp Table too.

Kreg KKS2000 Klamp Table w/ Steel Stand Combo

   Remember you can never have too many clamps.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

4 1/2 Grinder Vs. Wood

   At the beginning of May I wrote about how useful my grinder is in the shop when I have some metal work to do.  I turn to the grinder and a cut off wheel instead of using a hack saw when dealing with angle iron or bolts/threaded stock, those are typical applications for a 4 1/2 grinder.

  The attached video:

How-to Use Your Angle Grinder on Wood by Mitchell Dillman

shows how to put your grinder to work grinding away large amounts of wood quickly and with more control than you would imagine.

    Another use I found for the grinder was cleaning the charred wood from  barrel staves before sanding and finishing the wood as a candle holder like the one in this photo:

Mibro 694501 Cup Brush Twisted Wire 2-1/2-inch
That might have been the dirtiest job I ever did in my shop.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

More Raised Panel Door Stuff

   When I look at the stats for the blog I found that raised panel door blog entries get more hits than any other topic, so I found another video showing an interesting technique that enables a person to make a raised panel door from contrasting wood.

As is so often the case, I can make no claim to the content or the good idea shown in the video.  I am just glad that there is so much good stuff out there for me to see and share with my readers.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Estwing Hammer

 The Beauty

the Beast

  The photo of the beast is oddly out of perspective, but that doesn't really matter, the photo is just proof that I have my own Estwing leather handled hammer.  That hammer had already completed a lifetime's work when I bought it second hand.  That hammer belonged to a friend of my Uncle's who was down sizing as part of his retirement plan.  I have a couple of other tools of his but that is the one that is closest at hand.  I hope that one day I will down size and one of my grandchildren will take that hammer into their shop and get another lifetimes work from it.

   The attached video shows Estwing making their hammers, I really believe that they should be proud of their work.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

12 Tools Every Carpenter Needs

   There is probably no question that causes greater confusion,  discussion and out right conflict than  the question, "what tools to I need?"  I have written a number of blogs on this topic over the last couple of year and since I am side lined with serious back issues ( herniated disk ) it seems like a good time to reconsider some of the theoretic aspects of wood working.  My hands are on a forced holiday but I am hopeful that my head and heart can stay in the game, so  questions about "tools" can comes around.

   I have been re-reading "The Anarchist's Tool Chest"  and cruising the net looking for interesting and topical things to share. Chris Schwarz's  book provided me with inspiration and information the first time that I read it, August 2011, and has me thinking again.  When I get back on my feet I will be making some decisions about my shop, and its tools.

    I did run across a good video addressing what one man believes to be required tools for construction/D.I.Y wood working. This isn't the same tools as an apartment dweller needs but there is some over lap.  I agree with what he says, get a good tool pouch and  add a pair of pliers and a good quality tape measure to the basic kit too.   Another thing to do is clearly label all your tools and your tool belt.

   What tools would you add to this basic set up?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Multi -Tool Tricks

    Just a short video showing a use from your multi-tool. A side note, I have two multi-tools, one was cheap and the other, the Fein is outstanding.

   I have used a variety of saws and chisels to do this job, now that I have a multi-master it will always be my first choice.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wonderful Wood

  As I was surfing the net I stumbled upon a site for Connor Wooden Bicycles.  

   I never stop being amazed at just how cool a material wood can be.  We all admire fine furniture, wood carving and other uses of wood all the time.  Wooden boats are a favourite of mine as are airplanes made from wood.  Recently I watched a Youtube video on the Mosquito airplane for at least the second time and though I knew what they were going to say I enjoyed the video and continue to admire the plane and the folks that made them.

 The wooden bicycle also knocks me out.  It looks to me as though this could be a source of reliable efficient transportation if a production company were  to take up the design and production ideas.  As with the Mosquito airplane, there are more people around with woodworking skills and tools than metal working skills and tools.

  If you doubt the strength of composite wood all you need do is check out the video on the Handlebar page.

  As a second small footnote,  look in on and see what he has to say about Tormak and the sloyd knife.  The Sloyd knife that Tom is talking about comes from Sweden and as luck would have it they are well known  to Canadians, I guess it is a northern people  thing.  I have the exact knife in Tom’s blog but also have others of different sizes and shapes,  the knives come very sharp and are easy to sharpen when the time comes.  The best news is the knives are all very reasonably priced too.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Five Hand Tool Myths - by Megan Fitzpatrick

   The internet is filled with videos, websites and blogs dealing with any subject that you can imagine.  Part of what I do is surf the net looking for things to share with my readers and recently I found an interesting and short blog entry from Megan Fitzpatrick.  I eagerly read everything that comes from Popular Woodworking Magazine and have held subscriptions to their paper publication in the past.

   Ms. Fitzpatrick makes a very good case for hand tools vs. power tools and she does it with out getting all bound up in the romantic mythology of hand tools.  Often I find the "hand tool" (Royites) a bit tiresome ( though never Roy himself) and sometimes a bit righteous  but the beginner hand tool instructions talked about in this article ring true to my ear.

Point One:   I make cutting boards, many, many cutting boards.  For something like that, hand tools are slow.  But...for many other "One Off" projects hand tools are as fast and as efficient as setting up power tools.

Point Two: she is right.

Point Three:  hand tools require skill to get started and to keep sharp but....power tools can't make a bad design good, or hide poor craftsmanship.

Point Four:  usually we don't take the time to make the mark precise and so the tool can't make the cut, it is not the tools weakness, it is ours.

Point Five:  I did some math, she is right.  The good hand tools I own will last to be inherited  by Grand Children and I own and use hand tools that I inherited from my Father and Grand father.  That is not the case with power tools.  In the long run hand tools are the better value.

Think about it.  I would not want to give up my band saw and would never make cutting boards by hand but....lots of other jobs can be done by hand and I am reaching for planes and chisels and hand saws more all the time.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Small Change with Large Consequences

   When I equipped my first shop I bought a bench grinder.  I bought it mostly because that is what I had seen in other shops. Those shops needed grinders because using a little welding kit nuts were brazed onto the stock and low cost bolts of any length were made as needed.  

   I found that I seldom needed the grinder because I seldom make my own bolts, there are well equipped hardware stores within easy travelling distance and so I can buy exactly the bolt I needed.  The grinder has hung around for years, and mostly been ignored or avoided, it was on a bottom shelf and a pain in the butt to drag out and use.

   Recently I was tuning up some garden tools, weed digging tools and hoes etc.  Awkward stuff is sharpened with a big ol' bastard file but smaller can be ground.  This year, after at least ten years of fussing I finally made the small change to the grinder which has made for a large change in my attitude.  I am sharing this because on the internet I can't hear you saying "duh", though I know that is what you are thinking.  I am also sharing this because it may inspire you to take the 20 minutes and a fix that little thing that has needed doing for years but you think isn't worth the trouble.

   So what did I do?

    I finally bolted the grinder to a board with a couple of pins to wrap the cord around.  It now means that I can reach onto the bottom shelf, grab the grinder sit it nearly any place and use it.  Before it was bolted to a platform it took up space on the bench when in use and it was awkward to get out and to put away, so I ignored it instead of using it.  

   Such a simple little thing, but one that brings the right tool to the job more efficiently and so, more frequently.  The right tool makes the job easier and more fun.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Less likely Wood Shop Tools, but useful DIY tools

   One of the ongoing tasks in a homework shop, for me at least is arranging benches and tools so to have the best use of space. Many hours have been spent building shelves and cupboards as well as trying to set up the  most efficient work space that I can.  For a home workshop I am lucky, actually I have a fair amount of space and am equipped with lots of tools.  There are often articles in woodworking magazines featuring people with less space than mine and they do as good or better work than I do too.
King, 4-1/2'' Angle Disc Grinder Kit 8208AG

   The angle grinder is one of those tools that I reach for a couple of times per year to use its cutting wheel instead of a hack saw.  A cutting wheel is fast but usually not so pretty. On this weekend I needed my grinder to cut three bolts down to size to be used to bolt my vise to a board.

   I wasn't willing to invest the time in a trip to the local hardware store to buy three short bolts so I just cut these off.  Now the vise that I use can be placed on the corner of the bench and held firmly in place with one clamp.  The mounting board is scrap so there was no cost but time.  I use this vise often and as you can see I have given it wooden jaw pads so that it doesn't mess up my work piece.  Traditionally there are other styles of vise used on a wood worker's bench but I have found that this one is quite versatile and using this set up it is makes it easy to move out of the way when not needed.
General 95-700 7-inch Cabinetmakers Vise
the traditional bench vise
 Again you put wooden pads on the jaws so not to mark your work.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Tormek of Sweden

Tormek T-7 Sharpener

     There is no substitute for sharp tools.  Planes cease to be a challenge and chisels become a natural extension of your hand.  With properly sharpened and maintained edge tools a craftsman is able to refine the quality of their work and focus on detail and artistry rather than damage control.  There are dozens of sharpening systems available on today's market, each system has its champions, and each champion has personal criteria.

    My experience has been you get what you pay for, and Swedish technology and production is superb. 

    shows an introduction to the T-7 system.

   It have found that it takes time and effort to become good at sharpening your tools.  The time can be used learning how best to apply a system that is designed to handle all of your sharpening needs, or the time can be spend learning several different methods and systems because you do not have one system that will deal with all your needs.  If all you ever do is sharpen a 3/4 inch bevel chisel and then use the chisel to scrape paint, you don't need a Tormek.  If, you sharpen; plane blades, knives, bevel, mortise, shew and lathe chisels you may well be time and money ahead with a quality, comprehensive system such at the Tormek system.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013