Rust hunting 30 October 2011

I managed to drag my girlfriend to the local markets yesterday in search of a couple of things – a rip saw, a drawknife, and some gouges. No luck with any of them though I picked up this Stanley scraper plane for $25. It’s in good shape apart from the finish.


More tool racks

It’s been a week since my last post, basically because I’ve been too busy to do anything in the garage. I managed to get a bit done this weekend though.

First on the list was a tool rack for Dad’s old toledo chisels. These are my favourites and I’ve ‘permanently borrowed’ them from him and they’ve been rolling around in a tool caddy since then.

I still had some merbau decking left over from the last racks I made so marked up a piece using another rack as a template.

I cut it to length on the dropsaw and took the corners off with a tenon saw.

Then I drilled holes to match the ferrule size of each chisel with Forstner bits and cut the slots out to let the tools out with a jigsaw.

I used a block plane to chamfer the edges and then gave it a good sand, then using the pegboard as a guide marked out the position of the screw holes.

Then to screw the rack to the pegboard and test it out. Looks good I think. Lift the chisel and turn it sideways to remove, and no chance of them falling out and damaging the edge. I’ve still got a few more tool racks to go though to get all my tools stored properly.





Making Christmas Decorations

My lovely girlfriend decided that she’s like to have more some Christmas decorations this year, and instead of rushing to the shops to by piles of throw away plastic I offered to make her some if she painted them.

This is the first lot, made of 6mm ply to see how it worked. It’s a bit grainy so the next lot will be made out of MDF and spray painted instead of brush painted to get a nice gloss finish. I think she did well given the material though.



A new carving mallet

One of the guys at my local woodworking group had recently turned some carving mallets for a few of the members. After seeing me admiring them he kindly offered to make me one if I could find a piece of wood I liked.

I got hold of a small length of spotted gum and here’s the results, safely housed in a new rack I made for it this afternoon.

Seasonal Woodwork

I’ve noticed from reading the blogs of some of our woodworking friends in the northern hemisphere that winter brings with it a set of problems for them. It’s too cold in the shed, machines freeze up etc.

Down here in Australia, we have the opposite problem. Winter days are generally quite nice and even in the middle of July it’s no problem to continue working. Summer however is the opposite. Even today in the middle of spring I found it took hot in the garage to work comfortably. I’ve already got a fan positioned near my workbench but the small amount of labour to drill a few holes with a hand drill left me sweating. It must be 30c in there even with the windows and garage door open.

It doesn’t mean I’ll stop working in there, it just means I take a break during the hottest part of the day and working in the evenings, which is where being a handtool enthusiast comes in handy – I can work until late in the day without disturbing the neighbours.

Strangely enough as it fits in well with the title of this post, my current project is cutting out some wooden Christmas decorations. My girlfriend and I have decided that we wanted to try making some of out own instead of buying more plastic, mass produced decorations this year. More on that later today once the camera batteries are charged.



Making a new handle for a dovetail saw

I recently started cutting dovetails and found my 14 inch tenon saw a bit unwieldy for the job. One of the Australian Woodwork Forum members was able to help out with something more suitable that he’d started work on and thought I could finish.

It’s a 10 inch Disston backsaw with fine teeth, but it needed a new handle. The previous owner had started to cut one out of American Oak and sent it along with the blade for me to work on.

The first step for me was to change the design to an open handled one as the closed handle grip wasn’t going to fit my hand. A bit of work with the coping saw and I had the below handle to work with.

I put the z-vice to good use holding it while I took to it with a rasp and sandpaper, until it both looked good and felt good in my hand.

Then comes the hard part – cutting the handle for the blade. I marked it carefully and using its own blade started the cut, then finished this with a tenon saw and a small gents saw.

Because this is a back saw I had to clear a spot for the spine to fit into, so I marked it out and used a narrow mortice chisel to take out some of the wood around the top so it would fit.

Then came careful marking of the holes by laying the blade on top, drilling the holes and then drilling them out with a countersink bit so the screws fit in. It still needs a little more work to seat the screws properly and some more sanding before I finish it, but it’s looking good and fits my hand nicely.

Once done I will mix some stain into some boiled linseed oil and try and match it to my other saws, then give it a good sharpen before putting it to use.

I was quite scared at trying a saw handle as they look quite complicated but I found it was only a few hours work and it was very enjoyable seeing it take shape. Cutting the handle for the blade was the scariest part and it’s not quite perfect on this one, but it isn’t going to effect it in use. I’m going to try another handle soon because I had a lot of fun doing this one.