I am charmed by rustic tools. Extreme simplicity, implied durability and the clear functionality speak strongly to me. I am delighted when I can capture that in a tool that I make.
Here are several recently made tools that are unique, simple, solid and quite functional.
This shows them sheathed and unsheathed. I tried quite a few variations on sheath making and am finally happy with one of the results. All of the saws have handles made of pecan. The difference is how the wood was preserved.
Continue reading Striking Saws
Things coincide. A bit of talk on best weight for a Warrington Hammer. A Warrington Hammer is a Cross Peen designed for driving tacks. The idea is that the thin end can slide between your fingers as you hold a tack. It has been on my list of classic tools, but until I read Paul Sellers’ superb article on them, I did not have any good criteria for choosing one. He likes them from 8 to 10 oz, so this gave me a starting point.
While I don’t have a need for one, I do drive tacks and this may be a safer and more efficient way to drive them. So I may actually need one without knowing. There have been a few discussions of them, so the impulse urge to have one is suddenly there.
Meanwhile, I have an old couch that is going to be a pain to get through the door. I brought it in, back when my back allowed me all sorts of contortions, but now I have to be careful. So I am going to take the couch apart first. This couch is a leather couch I got in exchange for some programming ages ago. Taking it apart reveals all sorts of weirdness. It is made of ash, red oak, plywood and pine pinned together with zillions of tacks, nails, staples, brads and odd fittings. No saw will survive this long and the angles prevent use. So I decided to hack it apart. Not by swinging an axe, but by putting a cheap axe/chisel/blade down and pounding it with a 3lb sledge. With that and a few pry bars, I figured i could do it safely.
So I go to a dollar store that has a bunch of cheap odd tools, all for $1.09 each. I get a couple of hatches and a couple of hammers to sharpen into handled wedge/chisels.
So first I try pounding a hatchet into a joint.
The axe, as you can see fractured. This tool is total junk, more dangerous than functional. I will be throwing both axes away.
Continue reading Warrington Hammers
One pattern that keeps showing up, is the basic Mallet made in three layers. The result is pretty and as reliable as any mallet, so I think this pattern can be considered a classic, despite it’s relatively recent appearance. From this view it looks just like the original classic.
Continue reading The New Classic Mallet
Typically a shooting board is used for making the short end of a board straight or angled. When I was making a bunch of parts that where going to need to be exactly the same, on the sides as well, I made this one.
The back wall on this board allows me to [...]
I have been needing a Tongue and Groove Plane Set. Not needing as in really wanting one. Needing as in there is no other good way to do what I need to do. Small changes in life require different tooling.
My car got hit. The insurance company insists there is no such thing as loss of value when a car gets hit. Even though they have to pay for that loss in other states, Texas is all about rugged individualism. In other words Texas protects the insurance companies instead of citizens. In our “proving” there was a loss of value we decided to look at what a car company would give for our car as a trade in. In doing so, we evaluated the cost of keeping our old car and the repairs that would now increase vs having a car payment. We decided to get a Prius. Better gas mileage, less impact on the climate, but now my trailer is useless, and I can’t pick up a sheet of plywood anymore. I can however manage a few boards. To do the same thing with boards as I do with plywood, I need a tongue and groove plane set.
If the insurance company, call them Anole Insurance, had done the right thing, I would be able to squeak out enough to get a lovely Lie Nielsen T & G plane. I probably would have, it is a sweet, sweet tool. Sadly however I will have to make my own tool.
Needing a blade that was not spoken for, and needing it pretty quickly, I went and looked for something to make a blade out of quick. A spade bit can be a really good quick bit, but I saw something that also had some other nifty parts, and the price was right, so I looked real close at the $10 plane from Harbor Freight. I bought two of them. They don’t have an adjustable mouth, but for a tongue plane I don’t need and adjustable mouth.
So the first thing I did was to alter the blades. One blade I put a 1/6″ gap in and ground a HSS blank to the same width. The other blade has a 1/4″ gap with the matching HSS blank. The HSS blanks are going to be the blades for the grooving plane.
To mount a guide on the side of the plane I drilled and threaded a hole for a bolt to go in.
Continue reading Tongue Plane