Tuesday 2 May 2023


Stanley No. 3 Type 7

This plane and many other tools will be up for sale soon...

 Stanley No. 2 Type 7

This plane, and many other tools will be up for sale in the near future...

Monday 18 March 2019

A Badge of Honour...

This “Stanley” badge was listed on eBay as a Stanley Rule & Level Company factory visitor’s pass from around 1920. I didn’t believe a word of it, but thankfully, neither did anyone else, so I was able to purchase it for a couple of bucks. Even if it isn’t as stated, it still looks cool. This is the first of 10 or 12 little woodworking associated items that I’m adding throughout my new tool cabinet to increase the interest factor.

To hold the badge in place I drilled two small holes down from the top which accept brass nails which pass in front of the pin that normally passes through the wearer’s clothes. I chose this particular plane to display the badge as it is over a half century newer than all my other Stanley planes, and because it was purchased by my old man around 1946 or ‘47, when he went into the trade.
I made the mount using a backsaw, cabinet maker's rasp, a rat's tail rasp, a ¼" and ½" chisel and mallet. I also used a mess of 100 grit sandpaper. Finish sanding and urethaning to follow.

Sunday 17 March 2019

Some Things Are Just Worth The Wait...

It has taken me a little over two years, but I finally made it...

I still have to install all the supports for the saws and make the little trays that will fit under them to hold hacksaw and coping saw blades. I still have a few more planes to install in the centre section, along with making the four small trays that will fill the slots below them. The trays will hold some odd-ball small stuff and those little bits and bobs that never seem to find a home. The chisel panels have to be replaced on the right panel as I screwed up the dimensions on the two that are temporarily installed. The two panels are hinged on their right side so they open away from the centre section. I want to change them for three hinged panels which will still be wide enough to hold the chisels, but with three panels they will hold a lot more chisels.

I bought the hinges at Princess Auto. They are steel hinges that should be welded to metal cabinets but I drilled them to take screws. I bought them because they are extremely heavy hinges; which I wanted, and they were cheap; which doesn't hurt. I think I paid $8 for each 60" hinge. The hinge on the left is kept in its original state, other than the 27 holes per flap. The one on the right, though, had a section of one flap cut out to accommodate the chisel panels. When the cabinet is closed the barrel of the hinge runs the entire height of the cabinet. It is just when the panels are open that you see the missing metal. I am going to see about having these hinges powder coated flat black, but if it turns out to be too expensive, I'll just spray them. The hinges that support the chisel panels are much lighter continuous hinges that came already painted black.

I'm going to work one section at a time to finish them off and I will post the progress of each as I go along.



Monday 7 January 2019

I Haven't Disappeared Yet...

I haven't disappeared yet, but because I have turned my wife's living room into a finishing room, I think she's looking for someone to make that happen.

This is where I'm at today. I have a couple of coats of clear coat on everything now, and I'm just going back to each surface and cleaning up any imperfections that I see before laying down another 4 or 5 coats...

The two narrow pieces on the far left are garbage. They are hinged
sections to store my chisels in and fill the cutout section of the
narrow panel. I didn't like how they turned out, but I also
decided to go with three panels instead of two.
They will have to wait until spring, though.

This image was taken before this piece was clear coated...

The cabinet and the two hinged panels are 9 ¾" deep. The centre
12" high by 12" wide section is a display area and will be the
only area of the cabinet that will have lighting. The two shelves
on either side are and 7 ½" high and are there to store my
wood molding planes. There is a shelf across the bottom
of each panel as well for that same purpose.
This is probably the biggest pain in the arse project I have ever done and I will never do another veneer piece of this size again. The main panel is 54" high by 38" wide. It took me three attempts to get the veneer on the damned thing because I didn't make a veneer press like I should have and sections the veneer's soft grain just wouldn't lie flat. I'd get the veneer on it and veneer hammer it, then I covered it with plastic and then I clamped a same sized piece of ply down using cauls. I'd leave it for 24 hours and when I stripped the ply and plastic off, the panel's surface would be covered with bubbled veneer. I tried everything to get them to stick, but no luck, so I had to steam it off, sand the face and start again. Grrrrr.



Sunday 24 June 2018

Ok, Ok, So I'm A Little Behind...Sheesh...

 Contrary to popular opinion, or maybe it's just my wife's opinion, I have been working. Honest.

My new tool cabinet should be assembled within a week or two, although it will take considerably longer to show up here.

My first order of business this spring was to re-flatten my outdoor bench, which I have to admit to giving a bit of a shite-kicking these past couple of years.

I started out with my Stanley No. 5 that is fitted with a
convex ground blade for some serious "hogging". 
With the bench relatively flat, I went at it with my Stanley
No. 6 to flatten out the humps left by the No. 5.
For the most part, I used the corner of the No. 6 to keep a
check on flatness. Once I had planed the entire bench
top, I used a 6' aluminum straight edge to check the
flatness from corner to opposing corner.
With the entire bench top passing the "flatness" test, I
sanded the entire thing with 120 grit on my orbital
sander. I also rebored and re-chamfered the Dog-Holes.
Once I felt it would do the job it was meant for, and do it
well, I gave the entire top, including the front skirt,
about 8 coats of Spar Varathane, at least I
think it was 8. I lost count after 6.
Ain't it purdy?


Thursday 25 January 2018

Poor Ol' Keyhole Didn't Get No Respect...

Awe, the lowly Keyhole Saw. Tossed into the bottom of our toolboxes, lost in the back of a closet, this poor category of saw rarely garners any respect. The only time their needed it seems, is when you have to whack a hole for a light fixture in a sheet of drywall. Until then, though, they just seem to be things that get in our way when we are going through our toolboxes looking for a tool that we really need. After a few short years of being disrespected, their tips get broken off, their blades become bent and some of their teeth somehow go missing, but its a Keyhole Saw, so its no big deal. No respect.

In fact, we treat these "saws of last resort" so badly, we don't even call them by their proper name. We call them Keyhole Saws or Pad Saws, but in most cases, they aren't Keyhole Saws at all. Keyhole Saws have a very fine blade, both in thickness and in height, being only 3/8" to 1/2" high, with a length of about 10" to 14". Because the blade is so thin, the ideal Keyhole Saw has a handle that will allow the blade to pass through its entire length, allowing the blade length to be adjustable.

I bought a Keyhole Saw, the seller called it a Keyhole Saw, and everyone that I have shown it to since getting it has called it a Keyhole Saw. It isn't. It's a "Compass Saw".

A Compass Saw is similar to what you see below in the photos. Compass Saws have a 10" to 18" blade that are normally about 1 1/2" in height at the heel, tapering to a definite point at the toe. The blade can be fixed to the handle or removable, and is made from thicker steel than most saws, due to its shallow blade being unsupported for its entire length.

So here is my £31, 150 year old Keyhole Saw that is really a Compass Saw...

Pretty flash-looking little saw.
As with most saws of this nature, it is missing a few teeth,
the result of getting no respect. Its filed 6TPI.
Nice looking handle from any angle.
The handle has a couple of strange cracks that must be
attended to.
Pretty handle design, Mr. Mitchell.
Opps! It seems to be missing the point.

So now I need to find someone who can bring this find back to life. I am still looking for an experienced saw technician in Canada. I found one two years ago, but he quit offering the service and shipping back and forth to a sharpener in the United States is more expensive than ever. If you know someone, or are that guy or girl with all the patience needed for saws, please let me know. I have four saws now that are waiting for you.

This Mitchell Badger Plane was made in 1865 - 1867

And on another note, I got email the other day from a gentleman in Leeds, UK, who sent me a bunch of photos of an H. E. Mitchell plane that he produced in his first two years of business. It's a Badger plane with a skewed blade that is flush with one side and set back on the other. I was really pleased to get the photos as the plane has multiple maker's stamps on the toe, a mark that I haven't seen before on a Mitchell plane. I have seen the "H. E. Mitchell, Eastbourne", but never with the added line, "Saw & Tool Maker". In fact, this is the first time I have seen any mark for Mitchell that says he is anything other than a Saw Maker. I have also seen his planes marked with the Elms Building address before, but not separated like they are on this particular example. I get the feeling that this particular plane is either a very early one in Mitchell's career, or he made it for some type of exhibition where he wanted his business location information in everyone's face. The plane is a bit beaten up, but I have asked if I could purchase it and I'm waiting for a "Yay" or "Nay".

In all these years of messing with H. E. Mitchell planes, I
have never seen one marked with this type
of maker's mark before.
Great Stuff!
That's all I got today...



Wednesday 13 December 2017

Line Drawings and Dimensions of Small Portable Vise...

Here are the drawings of the little portable vise I posted originally on November 11, 2017. All the drawings are done full size and can be used as cut-out templates. Just print them off and glue them to your wood.




Friday 8 December 2017

Catching Up With This And That...

Just a few quick thoughts...

Someone, I think on Google, asked me to post drawings for the little portable vise I posted about on November 11th. I have been working on them and should have them done relatively soon.

Also, I was asked about the knicker blade for the Filletster Plane I posted about back in February of this year. I did get a replacement blade from Bob's Tool Box in the UK, but it was a tad too wide so I plan to do the slight modification it needs right after I finish veneering my bondo-trued fir plywood (I love typing that because I know it makes some cringe). I will be videoing the process and I will post the results here.

And speaking of veneering...all I can say is...what a pain in the ass that job is.

The only bit of advice I can give anyone who hasn't tried veneering yet is; don't do it unless you have the proper set-up for it. I will never veneer anything this large again, so I think spending a few hundred or so on a couple of dozen clamps and cauls, or better yet, spending the time and the money to build a 40" x 50" (the size of the largest piece) multi-screw press is crazy. As a result, I have jury-rigged the weirdest set-ups to get the job done.

I have been getting the job done slowly, doing it in a way that is either gutsy, or just damned stupid.

While clamps are one major requirement, the other is "plates". These are dead-flat pieces of material that are at least the same size as the piece you are veneering, or better yet, slightly larger. Again, I'll never use them again so instead of buying material to make them, I bought a couple of pieces of 18-gauge sheet metal. I am using the actual substrate pieces I made for the cabinet as the plates, stacking them with two, already veneered or not, on the bottom, covering it with a piece of sheet metal, then the piece of substrate I am veneering on top of it, then the second piece of sheet metal, then two more pieces of substrate, again veneered or not, on top. I then use strips of 11mm plywood (leftovers from the substrate) and some 2x4 cauls I made to clamp them all together. Because the substrate pieces are made from two pieces of 11mm ply glued together, giving a finished thickness of a hair under 1", there is relatively no give to them, and with five of them clamped together, there is zero chance of any twisting. They have also been flattened beyond an inch of their lives (remember the bondo), so they actually do the job very well. I did have one veneered piece I was using as a plate that came out with a 3" long by 1/8" wide dent in it. I don't know what caused it, probably a stray, missed sliver of veneer, but I took my wife's really expensive, and very hot, steam iron to it and it just disappear.



Saturday 11 November 2017

It Followed Me Home, Dear. Can I keep it...

Sometimes, something catches your eye and you immediately have to have it. That is what happened here.

During one of my usual weekly internet search for tools, I went to http://bobstoolbox.co.uk, a fantastic vintage tool shop in Liskeard, Cornwall, England, where I came across this...
It was such a pretty vice, I had to have it, so for the reasonable list price of £58 plus shipping, it was on its way to Canada. When it arrived at my door, I was even more taken with it than I was when I saw Bob's image of it.
It is only a little guy, measuring 8" tall by 8" deep by 2 3/4" wide, but it is beautifully made and the wood is...well...just gorgeous. There isn't a maker's mark on it anywhere, which is too bad. I would have liked a chance to know a little bit more about the maker. 
The Coke can is for scale.
I'm not sure if it is dogwood or pear. I'd like to think it is latter, but it is more likely that it is made out of the former.

It has what looks to be a blacksmith made mount on the back of it. The mount screw is missing its swivel, lost probably when its mounting screw sheared, so replacing it will require a bit of fussing to extract the screw's leftovers. I really do not expect the mount to work very well, as this type of mount rarely does, but it is very cool looking, effective or not.
It has a piece of spring steel mounted on the inside-bottom of the rear leg, just above its mount point. The rear leg is fixed while the front one has two pivot points, one a half inch behind the other. The spring steel ensures the jaws separate from each other when the pressure is released.
The Coke can was added for scale.
I also bought a knicker with wedge for the H. E. Mitchell Filletster Plane I bought last winter, and a Veneer Hammer to spread the cost of shipping over more than just the vice. Bob charged me £20 for the shipping.

If you want to spend an enjoyable few minutes wandering around Bob's Tool Box without heading off to England, use this link to get you there...Bob's Toolbox 360° Virtual Tour. It's a little freaky to get used to, but it is also a real hoot.