Thursday 23 October 2014

Dressing Stock For Drawers...

Given that my son hasn't seen the light yet when it comes to working wood without horsepower, I decided to make him a little video to show him what he is missing.

Here I am taking ¾" thick recycled oak and planing it down to ½" to use as drawer sides using my Stanley No. 5 and No. 6. I have converted the No. 5 to a scrub plane by grinding an 8" radius at the cutting edge of the blade so it hogs material at a satisfying rate. The No. 6 is running a "stock" blade, but one that is bloody sharp.

Dressing one drawer side takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, but I have chopped that down to a less than 5 minute video. I hope you enjoy it...



Tuesday 7 October 2014

Quick Portable Vise Update...

It has been a hell of a long summer for me this year. I had some health issues that laid me up pretty good these last six months so as a result, I did very little since my last post and the little that I did do, I didn't feel much like posting about it. Thankful, I'm up and at it again, feeling better than I have felt in a couple years so I hope to be making a lot of sawdust over the winter months to catch up on things. I still have to go through a couple of more procedures, but they will be like a walk in the park compared to what I have been through.

So without further adieu...


This, of course, is the portable vise I have been writing about for the past 10 months or so. I did finally get it all together and actually used it in ernest for the first time today. I can't believe the difference it makes - it is astonishing. It is surprising how little torque I have to give the handle to secure the board. When I first set up the ¾" x 2" x 22" hunk of oak you see pictured above, I tightened things up what I thought was needed and when I hit it with the plane, I realized that the centre of the board had bowed up off the vise. I backed the thread off 1½ turns and tried it again, expecting the board to shoot off the table but no, it held its position and suddenly hand-demensioning a board became a hell of a lot easier.

Some of the final steps I took with the vise was chamfering all the holes to reduce splitting when they were under stress, adding a sliding cover to the storage area at the back of the vise, scrapping the whole thing with a card scrapper and then coating the whole thing with a couple of coats of wax. Because it is so damned heavy, I also added a carrying handle on the right side, some of which can be seen in the close-up shot below. 

While this thing was far more work than I thought it would be, its performance under use is way beyond my expectations.