Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The End of Radio Silence

  In the old days of cool movies the leader of the intrepid band of heroes would call for 'radio silence' as the closed in on their target.  My silence's reason  hasn't been as dramatic.  For the first time since I started this blog January 29-2011, 885 blogs ago I took a couple of weeks holiday. For the first time since this all began I didn't look for anything to post while away on holiday.

  Yesterday we got home from three weeks in Sweden visiting our kids and grand kids. If I had been looking for blog things I would have talked about the three wooden spatulas that I whittled from fire wood at the kids cottage. Don't let limited tools keep you from wood workings. I used a fixed blade Mora 511 sheath knife,




carbon steel, delivered razor sharp and currently
on a sales deal of 3 for $15.00 Cdn in Sweden. Yes, I bought a few.

 the small blade on my Swiss Army knife 



Victorinox Spartan PS in black - 1.3603.3P
I have owned and lost more of these knives that I care to remember. But...always replace them.

and a bit of sand paper to make two small spatulas for the little girls play kitchen and a full sized one for their Mommy's kitchen.


  I also wandered through every tool and hardware store I could find. I really liked the Bauhaus in Uppsala, it has a large selection of wood working tools.

  For me the highlight of the trip, after my daughter-in-law defending her Phd thesis and being awarded her degree by the medical faculty at Uppsala University was a trip to Mora Sweden to see the Dala horse factory 
Image result for dala horse
all made and painted by hand in the factory in Musnas, near Mora.

was the stop in Musnas to buy a horse and some knives from a Mora/Frost knife clearance store.

the yellow handles knives were destined for Iceland
fishermen but the deal fell through. I got the knives for 30 SEK ($4.55 Cdn)
each. The blades are stout and very sharp, the handles will be replaced. The red knife is a Mora 511 and the blade a single bevel chisel knife. 


These four kitchen knives cost 50 SEK each, ($7.59 Cdn).
 Also very stout and very sharp, used in Iceland to clean fish.

 Northern Sweden looks like a giant plantation forest and much of their world is wood. Houses have wooden siding instead of vinyl and most of them are painted red or yellow.

Image result for swedish houses 


Image result for swedish houses


  Anyway, we are back home, unpacked and trying to catch up on things.  It is nice to travel, it is great to see the grand kids, but it is nice to come home too.

cheers, ianw

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Reciprocating Saw.

  The reciprocating saw, or Sawzall is a versatile  tool for rough cutting.  Rough cutting wood, nails, mild steel and pipe, as well as trees and branches.



  I do not need 'bug out' tools but I did think the video shows just how useful a recip saw is for trimming and limbing.

  Recently I used my reciprocating to cut the nails holding a skid together  and I have used a long specialised blade to trim trees at my Mother's house. 
  
  I think that a reciprocation saw is another of those tools that are used a couple of times and year but for which there is no real substitute. 

cheers, ianw 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Folding and/or Pocket Knives

  I love edge tools, planes, knives, chisels scrapers etc.  For a very long time I have carried a folding knife in my pocket or briefcase, all the time.  I can't even guess how  many of my knives have been borrowed from my desk and not returned, lost or stolen.  All my knives are sharp and useful, even the ones that are really just souvenirs.



  This is most of my current collection of pocket knives.  I know that I have at least three others but they must be in tool bags, gym bags or suitcases at this moment. 

  In this collection are knives that I've bought in Switzerland, The Azores, Sweden, Germany and Spain.  As well there are knives from Japan, Canada, and the USA. There is an official "Boy Scouts of American" pocket knife.  The horn handled knives' blades were made by the World Champion Blade Maker in 2000. The oldest knife is the one part way down the right side with home made scales  that I've had since I was nine years old, I found it in the ditch in front of our house, only recently did I fix it up.  The two blade knife in the middle with the wood scales and brass ends was given to my by my Grandfather in 1979. The bigger two blade knife in the bottom middle was my fathers, I bought two at the Grohmann factory sixteen years ago, I don't know where the other one ended up.

  There are a couple of cheap knives that don't hold a very good edge so I use them to cut up cardboard and plastic, there are some knives that are scary sharp and will stay that way for a long time. 

  I have a few, straight knives for working in my shop and I also have a pretty good selection of wood carving knives.  

  Like I said, I like edge tools.

cheers ianw




Thursday, May 18, 2017

Box with a Knot for Eva

  The current fashion of making things from re-used lumber is something I endorse fully, I hate to see wood wasted. Across our street the house that burned(mostly) was recently crushed and hauled away, there was lots of framing lumber that isn't getting used again, it isn't even being burned in a fire place.  The lumber goes to a landfill site, jeez.

  Anyway, getting off my soap box.  

  Recently Eva asked for a wooden box to gather the various lotions and potions on her bedroom dresser.  I looked about in the work shop and found a couple of boards with serious knots in them or as some people say, wood with character. 


  The boards were from the skid that I took apart a couple of weeks ago.  I kept the boards because of the knot, I thought I might make a flower box or something using the wood and featuring the knots.  

  The basic box I cut out using power, sliding mitre saw mostly.  Then I nailed the box together with butt joint corners. The bottom is made from slats cut from a 2 x 4, the slats were also nailed onto the box. It was my plan to make some trim for the corners, so nails worked fine, and fast. With pre-drilling nails work just fine and shouldn't be scorned as low class.

  I used my hand saw with a sawing jig to cut out the wood,


  and my  planing jig to smooth  and put a 45 degree edge on each piece of trim.



  Since the trim pieces were small I cut the angle by eye with a small plane.

covering the nails and
 adding  some style

The end result was pretty good, not perfect but pretty good and by the time everything was sanded the corner joints look good.

13 x 8 x 7 inches

  The end result was given a coat of orange shellac, a coat of blonde shellac and a couple of sprays of varnish.  As you can see the knots are quite notable.  Once the sanding was done and the coats of shellac applied the wood is perfectly smooth, even  the knots.

  A note about sanding.  When I was a grade 7 and 8 student the boys had one period of wood shop each week in which me made simple projects and got to see and use a variety of wood working tools.  Since I had a Grampa with a workshop there wasn't anything new for me in 'shop' class, but it was fun and I was pretty good at it.  I still have the foot stool and bowl I made in that class.  There were always more boys then tools and while you waited your turn you spent time sanding your projects. Few shop projects suffer from too much sanding, and learning to spend your time and attention on hand sanding is not a bad thing.  Having started with construction grade wood, this project needed lots of sanding, and frankly I think careful sanding can turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

  cheers, ianw






Saturday, May 13, 2017

Heart Warming Video, and a good project.


I came upon this video yesterday and since I am an Opa I needed to share this with you all.  I hope there are lots of fathers making project with their children.

Making a 2x4 Tool Box

  I think we can always use another tools box and shop time with the kids is the best shop time of all.





Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hand Planing Jig

 As I do more and more small projects I find myself often sanding and planing smaller pieces of wood.  To control the material while sanding I use a soft mat or bench cookies . Carpet under padding or drawer liner works pretty well and  is pretty cheap.  I like cheap matting because when it gets covered in glue and paint it gets tossed out.

  Planing on the other hand offered some challenges. I found trying to plane a small thin piece of wood a nuisance to set up and hold.  After some thought I arrived at my planing jig. ( I am sure I didn't invent this workshop solution, so I won't claim to)



  The jig is a flat piece of hardwood about 6 x 15 with two through dog holes at one end and a low stop at the other.  I can plane smaller boards against the stop laying flat or..


  I can stand a smaller board on edge and push it into a 'V' cut stop against the end stop. 

 

    I decided on dogs to hold the jig for the flexibility but I can use a bench clamp as well.



  In June 2016 I wrote about my small bench topper, bench top. These smaller bench jigs allow me more flexibility in where and how I work.  My hope is that being able to work in a variety of postures will keep me working longer before my back gives me troubles.  Also a smaller bench top keeps me from going crazy and making my work table look like a Swiss Cheese from dog holes.


  I not only have been working on my work station but I also got the panels glued into a box and today I fitted a bottom.  I say fitted because the box/foot stool is not really square, it is close to square.



  The bottom is held in place with KREG pocket holes.  I chose not to try and square all the panels before working with them.  Each panel is hand carved and approximately 15 inches square, but also each one is somewhat warped too. I felt that the artistic nature of the panels was best left as it, (since you can only see one side at a time) and I'd adjust and compromise on the 90 degree corners.  

  The top is drying as I type so this project will be done tomorrow.  The foot stool is for my brother's man cave.  What can a say, I have a workshop, he has a cave.

cheers, ianw

Image result for man cave









Monday, May 8, 2017

Handles and Box

  The story of the handles should be a mere bagatelle, but as with so many things in a home shop, there was a twist.


 
  It broke. Luckily the handles were going to stand too far off the door so the cut down version wasn't affected by the break.

  The finished handles were stained with  Danish Oil first and then shellac, and I'll finish with spar varnish.


  The panels are being glued one at a time into a box.  The wood panels are only approximately the same size, there will be some adjustment needed to the final piece.  Also the panels are not really flat so there has been a bit of planing and fitting to get the pieces together.

  You can see the long clamp from KREG and the gravity clamp at work holding the side on as the glue dries. 


   Once I get the four sides glued together I will fit a base inside the box and use pocket holes to attach the sides to the base board.

Three Planes
   You can see the three planes that I used to flatten the edge of the panels before glue up.  I first scored a line along the panel to give a natural line for the shoulder plane to follow.  The half inch blade in the shoulder plane cut across the grain easily giving a straight edge and good depth control.  Next I used the small plane to hog out the balance of the wood with the block plane as a smoother.

  I have begun to use my smallest planes more often recently.  Over the last couple of years I have got better at sharpening and the small planes have become much more useful.  I've found the smaller the plane the sharper the blades must be. To  take off whisker like shavings effortlessly and not tear the wood the blade must be razor sharp. All of my small planes have a single adjustment for depth of cut and alignment, set up is a bit fussy, but worth it.

  I have an old bull nose plane sitting on a shelf, it is time to give it the treatment too I think.  I'm sure it was a good tool, and with a proper blade it will be again.

cheers ianw

  



  



  



Friday, May 5, 2017

Friday's Business

 I am making a pair of door handles for a shed and when it came time to glue the handles to panels I opted for a gravity clamp.



  This piece of train track has been in our family workshops for generations, it is a poor man's anvil.  I keep threatening to grind the horn smooth, but haven't gotten around to it.  I could have used other types of clamps to hold this together but gravity was quickest and easiest.  To attache these handles to the door I attached the handle to a plate and the plate to the door rather that driving long screws through the door into the handle.  Since modern glues are so good I decided first to glue the two pieces together.  Once the glue set I turned the unit over and drove a long screw into the handle through the plate.  With the glue set nothing wiggled while drilling and and  screwing. 

  Here is a progress photo of the funny little man.


   This little man is going to Sweden for my youngest grand daughter.  He is sort of a viking, but she is too small to have a toy with horns on its helmet.  The big ears and nose stick out enough.



  Over a year ago I was at a yard sale hosted by our church and six of these panels were for sale.  At the end of the day the panels hadn't sold and the owner shrugged their shoulders and supposed they would burn the panels in their fire place come winter. I voiced my opinion that that was a real shame, as a wood worker I hated to seen decent wood burned for lack of imagination. My point was taken and I got all the panels for a very good price, on the understanding that they didn't end up in my fire place.  I have been thinking about the panels for a while and recently found a project that will feature four of them.

Stay tuned.

cheers, ianw  



  


Monday, May 1, 2017

A Summary of Small Things in the Shop

  I got a wonderful photograph this week, it shows my grandson with some of the ships we've built.  There isn't an admiral of the fleet anywhere that is more proud of his ships. 


  The submarine support ship needs further work, helicopter pads and radio towers I think.

  A while ago my kids gave me a plastic bottle cutter.

Reuse and recycle plastic bottles of all kinds, turning them into convenient universal handy ropes.

  At the time I knew that it was a cool thing, but I really didn't have a clear notion of what I would do with the plastic string that it creates.  I also found that the string was tightly wound and fairly difficult to handle.

  There are a few things that I have learned about bottle string:
  a. the string has sharp hard edges.  If you want to soften the edges put the string into boiling water for a while.

  b. if you hang the string for a few months with a light weight on it the string will straighten out quite a bit.


  I  hung the strips in the back of my shop under the stairs after the Christmas holiday intending to use them in the garden this spring. I found that a 2 litre pop bottle made about 25 feet of string.

c.  Another thing that I learned from the internet is that the pop bottle string acts like "heat shrink wrap.


  I put a couple of wraps of the string around each end of these bundles of re-claimed wood and tucked the end in.  All it took was the briefest blast from my heat gun to fuse the knot together and shrink the string tight.  Bundles of wood are neater and easier to keep organised in my shop than loose boards.

  Yesterday was rainy and cold.  I'd been fairly busy during the week and my back had been punishing me.  Usually when I am working on a project I work until it hurts and then abandon the shop for my easy chair or laying on the floor.  Using this method there is no energy left to clean up the shop or to do all those little maintenance things that should be done at the end of a work sessions. Since it was not a good day for gardening or riding my motorcycle I used the time doing maintenance.

  After I wrapped up the wood and put it away I spent an hour taking planes apart and stropping their blades.  I've found that frequent use of a leather strop has reduced the amount of actual sharpening I'm doing by at least half.  After touching up the blades and waxing the soles of my regularly used planes I turned my attention to my chisels and shop knives. I believe that stropping away the tiny burrs that develop during use helps the edge last much longer.  
  
  It was a relaxing and productive afternoon as I did some of the those little jobs that make life in the shop go more smoothly.  I washed my various glue bottles and scraped some of the glue bumps off of my bench, two things that get over looked until I am in the midst of a project. I collected shop rags and put some to soak and some to the trash. I like to have clean rags handy.  Another  job was using steel wool and wire brushes to clean up putty and glue application knives.  A clean blade spread glue smooth and evenly and a clean handle is nicer to hold.

 Today is as cold and rainy.  This might be the day for a Zen like sweep and vacuum

cheers, ianw







Friday, April 28, 2017

F.Y.I re: reclaimed pallet wood.

  I finished pulling all the nails out of the pallet boards today. I figure that I got 15 3/4 board feet of usable wood.  There are of course nail holes and if I want smooth wood it will be probably only 1/2 inch think by the time the boards are planed.  Rough storage or out side flower boxes seem like a good use for the wood.  I want to make something  quick and easy.  I may not even fill the nail holes.

  Now that I have worked out a method for reclaiming wood I may do it more often. My first efforts, trying to pry the skids/pallets apart meant too much of the wood was wasted to make the effort worth while.

two and a third layers of reclaimed wood.
   There are lots of things that can be made with rough lumber.  There are even more things that can be made with lumber that has been filled and sanded.
  I think I'll make something quick this weekend.
  cheers, ianw

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Recycle a Pallet, Get a Reciprocating Saw

  It is all the rage to collect and reuse shipping pallets.  I am a strong supporter of reusing and recycling anything if possible.  Today I spent some of the first real nice days cutting a pallet apart with my reciprocating saw.  Technology has advanced significantly since I bought my saw, the saws are smoother and available in cordless models.  When I bought my saw a decade ago battery technology wasn't up to powering a reciprocation saw.  

  As with jig saws there are many specialised blades for recip saws. I have a reciprocating saw to prune small trees and cut up green wood too. Every major tool company and blade maker has developed all sorts of blades.  Cutting the pallet apart I used a blade that sliced through the nails. This way there is less damage to the boards.  Using this system the next most important tool is a nail set to drive the nails out of the boards. 

  Now that I have some pallet wood I thought I'd look at some pallet projects on Instructables 



Pallet Coffee Table From Reclaimed Wood
Looks nice.

   After I bashed the pallet apart I sent quality time with fine wood working tools.  I  have three small repairs from 10,000 Villages and finally affixed a handle to the paint box. I like making repairs to wooden objects for 10,000 Villages, repairs always involve sharp knives, planes, rasps and files.   I find  relaxation and comfort in fussy and fine wood working. After the tools are done the next stage is finishing with shellac or wax.

  I am hoping the weather will be good tomorrow.  I want to ride my motorcycle, and then I will take out the rest of the nails and move onto a project.

cheers, ianw

  








Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My shop is a mess, again.

On Sunday, after church my grandson and I crashed down to the shop to make another boat.  Last September 6th we made a submarine.
A proud maker.

  Last weekend we made a boat that provides support services to this submarine. 

Image result for submarine support ship

    This type of ship was our basic inspiration, but we did not have enough time to really do the project justice. There is nothing better that working with an enthusiastic seven year old with a plan, also almost nothing as challenging.  We also added a time crunch to this project which is partially why my shop is a total mess.  

  I have tried to set an example of calm and focus in the shop with a routine of returning tools to their proper place as we work.  On Sunday it was chaos, there were tools on benches, and machine tops and even the floor, when we were done.  After seeing the kids off home, Eva and I jumped in our car and headed away for an over night holiday, leaving the mess behind. Today I was off running errands and so Tuesday after supper and still the shop is chaos. The house Elves do not put away tools, or sweep the shop.(sadly) I'll get to it tomorrow morning. 

  We were so rushed that I didn't even get a photograph of our effort.  The plus side of this building project was  it introduced Kieran to two new tools.  We used a jig saw and a wood rasp for the first time together.  I think I will try and create a project that uses the jig saw for his next visit.  With the correct blade in place a variable speed jig saw can do lots of things, and he maybe ready to use it. (with coaching and supervision) Kieran is comfortable with the band saw and the drill press now and uses his small cordless drill driver for putting in screws, so it is time for some new tools. 

  I think the wood rasp was also popular, it clears material faster than sand paper, and speed is important when you are 7 1/2 years old.

Big beard, long hair but no horns, to easy to break off,
just like on real Viking helmets.

  I need only a handle for the paint box and so am making a small carved Viking for my youngest grand child. On our last trip to Sweden she got the Puffin
the last minute puffin.

  The small carvings are a good size for small hands and are pretty much unbreakable. Once the Viking is painted it will be another bright thing for be dragged from place to place and finally lost in the long grass.  (which is exactly why I make them).

  This evening I am relaxing and stretching out my sore back, tomorrow back to work.

cheer, ianw


Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Design Process or How To Make A Mountain Out Of A Mole Hill. Project #10

  Yesterday afternoon I set about fixing a small problem in my shop.  I like to listen to music or pod casts while I work and have been using my tablet computer for that purpose.  A couple of years ago I made a passive speaker system for a previous tablet, my new tablet doesn't fit, of course. I have been leaning the tablet on things and hoping it doesn't get knocked over for a while now, yesterday I decided it was time to take a stand, and make a stand.  Another passive speaker system wasn't necessary but I wanted a stand.

finished version


  My initial plan was basic, cut a slot into a chunk of wood and have it hold the tablet.  Once I got the slot cut I decided it would be a good idea to drill some holes into the wood so the sound wouldn't be blocked.  Okay.  I measured the holes and made an effort to make it look designed rather than random.  



  Then the trouble began: the hunk of wood now needed to be shaped a bit on the band saw, then sanded on the belt sander to make it looked designed rather than random.  That took almost no time and improved the visual effect. What happened next was just silly.  I decided that the general shape needed so be sculpted and shaped, after all I had jumped off the artistic cliff and there was no going back.



  First I decided that the top of the hunk of wood was too plain and so I used my drill press and various chisels to carve out an indentation, in which to put.....I don't know but small somethings now have a place to be put. It wasn't that tough to rough out.  I drilled a bunch of holes with a Forstner bit upon which I have ground off the centre spur.  This modified bit leaves a much smoother bottom .  Not so smooth that it doesn't need to be sanded but not bad.

  Since that worked no bad I completely lost my mind and decided to shape the front side of the tablet stand/wood hunk.  The layout was easy, but I should have recognised the can of worms I was opening when the marking gauge had trouble with the end grain.  



  When I began this project I selected a bit of 2 x 6 spruce lumber from the scrap bit.  Spruce is fairly soft, pretty cheap and totally crap for carving. Not a problem since at the beginning of this process I had no plan to carve, shape or even sand this thing. 

  Now I am trying to cut a dado on a curved surface, across end grain that is course and chippy.  I cut the limits of the dado with a hand saw, then I cut more slots in the waste material hoping that it would make clearing the material away easier.  It didn't. I tried various chisels, fine with the grain, no luck across the grain, on the curve.  Finally I finished the job with wood rasps, they removed the wood but left a surface covered with voids when bits of wood pulled out while being rasped.  The wood that was left was filed smooth and sanded but there were many voids and much tear out.

  The holder was too ugly to be left bare wood and so I had to fill the rough spots with putty  before I resorted to spray paint.  If I'd left it as was I would have to invent a story about it being the loser in a pitch fork catching contest.  

  REALLY, all I wanted was a piece of wood to hold up my tablet computer.  It was organic design? Are organic designed products meant to be ground up and composted when you are done?

  For all that, it does the job, it is holding my tablet right now, and blasting away bassoon concertos. 


cheers ianw

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

While the Glue Dries

  I was waiting for the glue to dry.  I had done a couple of little trim things on the paint box and was waiting for the glue to dry before final sanding and varnish. 

Image result for i hate waiting

  Sometimes I fill the waiting time with sharpening tools or sweeping or I just give up and go away.  This time I did a bit of shop maintenance that was long long over due.  I while ago, more than a year, maybe more than three years I cut the top of my work table with my circular saw and not long after that a corner broke off.  I have struggled to work around the broken bit of bench ever since. Finally yesterday I was waiting for the glue to dry and decided to do something about the problem. There was also a bit of wood just the right size staring me in the face.

  

  First thing to do was cut the edge square, for that I used my circular saw and the saw guide that I made a few weeks ago.  Once again the saw and guide worked easily and accurately.  My bench top is 1 1/2 inch thick plywood and this time I decided to cap the edge of the plywood with real wood. You can see, I used glue and wood dowels to attach the face board. The entire work table is assembled with dowels, Miller dowels generally.  I chose  to use wooden fasteners so that anytime I saw or drill on this work table I know, for sure, that I won't run into a screw or a nail.  For example, today I added three new dog holes in the work top, which is easy knowing what is hidden.

  I have been working for several projects now without a table saw.  Now I have no plans to replace my table saw , if I won the lottery I might buy a dedicated track saw but I'm not even sure about that.  The saw I could not live without is the sliding mitre saw.   They do half of what a table saw will do, for half the price, but it is the half that makes life in my  small shop much easier.

  All that remains after the varnish for the paint box is a carrying handle. I need to see what is out there in hardware.

cheers ianw

Image result for the princess bride quotes
but not the sandwich kind!


  

  

Monday, April 17, 2017

You're Not Going to Believe This.....

  I have been a long time fan of Jimmy DiResta, I honestly think he can make anything. I've seen videos where he does leather work, wood work, metal work, carving and casting but I've never see anything like this.
  Jimmy DiResta posted a video of him making an aluminium handle for an axe.  I expected milling machines and lathes, not just a band saw.



  I encourage you to watch the video all the way through just to see how he cuts and shapes that piece of  aluminium.  
  
  I hope you all had a happy, Easter weekend.  Our weekend was filled with family, children and chocolate, we are blessed.

cheers ianw



Thursday, April 13, 2017

Tova's Paint Box

  I was able to return to this little project yesterday.  The dead line for finishing this small box is 5 weeks away so I have put it aside a couple of times as other things have come up.

  You can see three sides clamped into place on the box.


  The bottom of the box is plywood, but the sides are aromatic cedar.  Aromatic cedar is relatively soft nice wood to work with, most of the time.  The wood can be chippy and knots are especially hard and will deflect drill bits or saw blades if you are not vigilant however.  The fourth side chipped while I was fitting it to the box.  I was able to glue three sides in place but I had to glue the chipped board together before I could glue it in place.

  I decided on a sliding lid for this paint box and so had to cut 1/8 inch dadoes in  three sides. In table saw days I would have ripped those slots in minutes.  Without the table saw I opted for another method, that worked fine and was quieter.

  

  I laid out the lines for the dado and used my home made marking knife to cut the lines into the wood.  I found that I could only hold the ruler perfectly straight and still by clamping it into place. I scored each line into the cedar multiple times and then cut down the lines with my dove tail saw. This was one of those "OH" "DUH" experiences.  I'd made three marking knives while on a blacksmithing course a few year ago, and not used any of them much. If you are going to cut your material with a power saw, scoring the wood isn't really needed.   Those of you that are smarter than I am, (that's everyone right now) know that when you score a line with a marking knife the hand saw blade settles into the cut much easier and faster and your cut gets better automatically. DUH.  So I made the six cuts, easily and accurately and used a narrow chisel to clear out the little bit of wood that remained. Chisels are generally 1/4" and wider. My 1/8" inch chisel is a souvenir that I bought at a tool store in Berlin, Germany on a trip in 2010.

  How did I know when to stop cutting you ask.  I made a depth gauge by marking 3/8" on a putty knife blade and used that to check how deeply I had cut into the wood.  I could have also marked the saw plate but decided that was a habit I didn't what to start.  Thinking about it now, I could have put painters tape on the saw plate to mark the depth!!! I'll get better at these short cut and tricks the more I saw by hand.

  

  These are the three marking knives that I made 2012.  I brought them home, fitted handles (poorly) and sharpened them (sort of).  It is clearly time to treat these tools with the respect to which they are entitled. That will be my ongoing project. I have good saws, and now I know how to make quality cuts, duh.

cheers, ianw