A new mallet and square


I decided yesterday that I spend far too much time either talking about woodworking, typing about woodworking, collecting tools for woodworking or collecting wood for woodworking, without actually doing much woodworking!

In an attempt to remedy this, here’s the first two of my “5 projects in 5 days” that I’m doing over the long weekend.

The first is a simple laminated mallet, the wood is something unknown I salvaged from a pallet but I knew I liked it a lot. It’s very very hard. I had no idea what to do with it so took an offcut to work and played with it all week, trying to find out what it wanted to be. This is what it decided to become!. It’s a little rough but I’m very proud of it, and it feels just right in my hand.

The second is something I’ve been wanting to make for ages, and never got around to. It’s a simple framing square, the wood’s from a $6 piece of meranti, the finish is raw linseed oil. It’s as square as the bought squares in my shop and I can see myself using it a lot. 20 minutes work and again I’m happy with the result, even if it is something a 10 year old could make!

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Five whole days…


I’ve got the full 5 day long weekend ahead of me. Plenty of household chores and Easter┬ácommitments┬áto keep me busy, but I’m also hoping to install Dad’s old woodworking vice in my little fold up bench. After a couple of attempts I finally got it out of his old bench on Wednesday night – would have just grabbed the bench but no place to put it. There were a couple of decent pieces of maple and meranti there too so I’m hoping to start work on something fun over the break.

Rust removal methods


I raided my dad’s garage when I bought my own place and grabbed anything he didn’t want, ‘just in case’ I needed it later on. Most of it was covered in years of that lovely grease you get when enough dust settles on something, the rest in rust.

I’ve tried just about everything but the electrolysis method, with mixed results. Rust remover works, but is pricey and smells strongly. White Vinegar was effective, cheap but the smell again was the problem. Same with Turps and metho.

I’ve started trying a new method in the last few days with better results than any of the previous ones, using hot water and citric acid. It’s the stuff they make sherbet with and you can get it in the baking section of the supermarket and also brewery shops apparently.

Two tablespoons into some hot or boiling water, leave it overnight, wipe all the gunk that appears on the tools off and spray with an oil right away to stop them re-rusting, and a big part of the jobs done. Next step is the fine steel wool to bring back a shine, then a coat of machine oil. Will post some pics once this latest lot comes out.

Making the best of a rainy day


Yesterday was wet. Very very wet. Plus, I had to stay home so we could get the annual pest inspection done. So I pottered around, did the housework, watched the inspection, then took the car out of the garage so I could get some work done.

First on the agenda was to finish pulling apart a large pallet I’d been given because it was getting in the road of the car. Two of the four 2×3 pieces had already been removed and run through the thicknesser at the local woodworking club and came up so well I wanted the other two to run through next month. After a bit of a struggle and a few broken boards I had it apart. The bits I wanted were fine, but the boards I’d hoped to use as well appear quite bowed so went into the pile to be thrown out.

Next up was a general tidy, throwing out the scraps that always seem to accumulate – bits of sandpaper too small to reuse, tiny offcuts, empty glue bottles etc. Into the bin they went.

I’d been waiting for time to try and finish restoring two planes – my father’s #4 and a #5 I was given. The #5 was in decent condition but wasn’t taking perfect shavings, so I took it apart and started flattening the blade. An hour later it was looking like new so it went into a bucket of turps to get any residue off. The #4 parts were already in there but they will need more soaking so I’ve left them there to tackle later today.

I have two little trojan brand planes my girlfriend got me at Christmas, a low angle block and a little bench plane. The block had worked great out of the box but the bench plane had never made me happy. I got out a straighteedge and took a look at the sole and the blade and found my problems. Another hour on the oilstone and it’s taking perfect shavings, and is very useable for cleaning up board edges on the fly. I used in on the next project for the day…

I’ve been meaning to do some work on the mobile tool rack for a few weeks but have been too busy. Today seemed a perfect opportunity so I grabed some scrap pine and made a rail to hold my chisels. It’s just been stained so I’ll try and put it up later today with pics.

Finish up with staining some old tool handles to freshen them up, a quick sweep and things are looking much better.

The making of scratch stocks


I have been looking at rounding planes to take the edge off some stock, but I’ve decided to have a go at building a couple of humble stratch stocks instead. I have some scrap sheet steel sitting there that should be strong enough, I’ve already filed and tried a piece with good results.

The question is, do I make a plane shaped one, a traditional scratch shape or go for something completely different?. Pics to come of the completed project.

Plans for a Scraper Plane


I recently picked up a piece of maple to make a couple of new saw handles. The longer I looked at it though, the less inclined I was to use it like that.

I was at a woodworking group on the weekend and someone was running piles of old drawer parts through the thicknesser. I gave him a hand to speed up the process and scored two thinner pieces of maple for my trouble. For some reason the idea of a scraper plane is stuck in my head for this wood, I’ll let you know how I go