Friday, June 25, 2010
Back From the Dead!
Hi all. My apologies. I've completely ignored the blob and it's been two long years since I posted anything.
A lot has developed over the last two years, but I'm going to focus on non-work activities.
Let's dive into the workshop.
Along time ago my Dad gave me a behemoth of a hand plane that was in fairly good shape. Didn't really know what to do with it, so it got put in a cabinet only to come out when I wanted to fondle it. After moving up yonder to Northern VA, I had some time on my hands before we bought the house in Reston and I stumbled onto the website Woodnet which had forums on power tools and hand tools.
In perusing the hand tool forums I stumbled onto a thread about handplanes and one of the posters posted a photo of a plane that looked a lot like the one my Dad gave me. The plane was identified as a Stanley #8, but most importantly a Type 11, one of the more desirable versions of the plane. Checking mine indicated it was indeed a Type 11.
I had never used it and the blade was as it was when my Grandfather gave the plane to my Dad. I did a quick sharpen job on the blade with the limited resources at my disposal and applied the plane to a piece of wood.
Oh, my..... I took another stroke. And another. And another. Until I had a large pile of "curlies" on the floor. Yes I was hooked. The tote (handle) on the plane was broken but that was okay. I bought a piece of Cocobolo from Vienna Hardwoods and using the template on Lee Valley website, I cut another tote out of the Cocobolo. It didn't take long, but the Cocobolo was an odd color after smoothing. Kind of an orangy caste to it. I was sitting down watching TV and playing with the tote and the oil from my hands transformed the tote into a thing of beauty. Absolutely gorgeous color. I bought a can of Danish oil and wiped on a couple of layers and wow. Mounting it on the plane transformed it.
Realizing I really had no effective means of sharpening the blade I started researching the ins and outs of sharpening. Lots of recommendations to start with something called "Scary Sharp" which is to use several grades of sandpaper mounted to flat plates to sharpen the blades. I went to the company who did the granite counters in the kitchen and asked if I could rummage through their scrap bin for a couple of pieces of granite to mount sandpaper on. They had plenty, so I retrieved what I wanted from the dumpster and brought them home and cut them into appropriate sized pieces with my tile saw. In the interim I ordered an Eclipse sharpening guide and built a sharpening station for my belt sander based upon this one posted by fellow Woodnetter Derek Cohen.
I managed to get the blade on the #8 fairly sharp and was buoyed with my newfound skills. I embarked on what my wife was to call an obsession of collecting a fairly comprehensive set of Type 11 (or similar) Stanly planes. Over the next year or so, I was fairly successful and have a full suite with doubles of #4 and #5. Some were beaters, some were in good shape, but all needed cleaning and sharpening. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about old tools and being able to make them productive once again.
In parallel with the blade collecting "passion" I was able to pick up a couple of sets of chisels. I had had a four piece set of Craftsman chisels that I had bought many years earlier, but wanted a descent set to work with. I managed to find a set of Marples on E-Bay that was made in the UK and got them sharpened up and as the say, the slippery slope got slipperier. A couple of other chisel sets appeared as Woodcraft had a special on a 6 chisel Chinese set and I got a set of Ashely Iles off the for sale forum at Woodnet. So I'm awash in chisels.
Before we moved from Slidell, I had two panel saws that my Dad hd given me and somehow they got lost in the move up here to Virginia. I have no eartly idea where the two saws and a large bench vice disapperared to, but I've not been able to find them. I was perusing Craigs List one day and saw a Disston #8 panel saw for sale for $10. It was newer than the ones I had lost, but it looked brand new. As ot turns out it was a crosscut saw and I decided I wanted a ripsaw. I managed to find a #8 ripsaw on E-Bay shortly thereafter.
In addition with panels saws I became interested in backsaws. I bought a Disston #40 from a fellow Woodnetter which needed a little bit of tweaking shortly followed by two more #40's off of E-bay. All need resharpening at the very least so I need to work at that.
Last fall I was looking at Craigslist and came across this bandsaw.
The add said it was a 16" bandsaw and the price was $75. A quick shout out to the folks on Woodnet indicated it might be a Walker-Turner bandsaw and was highly desireable. My wife and I were taking my son and some friend to Maryland to do some "airsofting" so I decided while he was doing that we would go look at the saw as it was not far away. The saw was complete except for the opper blade cover so I grabbed it. I had to take it apart to get it on the back of the car as it was very heavy. The car was fairly full on the way home with the saw and the three teenagers and all their gear!
Anyway, I did some research on the web and the holy grail of old tools is OWWM . There are two websites, one with a lot of documentation on old tools and one with a forum discussing the tools. I was able to grab a manual for the saw and over the course of the next month or two was able to buy the odds and ends I needed to rehab the saw. I built a base for the saw out of plywood amd using a wirewheel I got everything cleaned up and repainted all the cast iron and the new base. Putting it all back together results in this,
While all this was going on another Craiglist add popped up showing this:
A quick check of the archive at OWWM revealed that this was a Craftsman Cabinet saw which I had been looking for. The beauty was the asking price was the pricely sum of $20.
Getting it home the next day I was able to grab a couple more photos:
It's fairly complete and not in bad shape. The seller provided a 1/2 hp 1750 rpm motor saying it went with the saw. I hate to think how poorly it cut with that motor. As it turns out the motor was non-functional so I just discarded it. The other major omission is the fence. A fellow OWWM'er has offered to send me the fence he took off his saw but he advised that I wouldn't be happy with it. So I'm on the lookout for a fence.
Anyway, I think that's all for a bit. Hopefully I won't be so long to post next time, but who knows.