Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Gets

Also under the Christmas tree this year were gifts from the in-laws.

My Father-in-Law gave me this Mohawk-Shelburne breast drill, which came "from back on the farm".

The Mohawk-Shelburne name was Millers Falls economy line, good tools aimed at the occasional user. According to this Old Tool Heaven web site, this drill was manufactured between 1935 and 1949.

It's a two speed model with a three jaw, 1/2" chuck.

Loosening the knurled knob and sliding the main gear up engages the outer ring of teeth, resulting in more bit rotations per crank revolution.

Also, for the third year running, my Mother-in-Law gave me a Lie-Nielsen socket chisel. This is a tradition I will fully encourage.

They're so nice, easy to look at and a joy in the hand. I'm looking forward to having the whole set, late 2017.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Gets

Also under the tree this year was a Veritas Miniature Edge Plane.

It comes in a fitted box with an anti-corrosion chip and full instruction.

The body is 2 3/8" long, machined stainless steel.

The lever cap is a nice piece of work the size of your pinkie nail.

My only complaint is I wish the lever cap knob was made of brass.

I find miniatures fascinating, especially ones that function. This one works right out of the box, leaving a smooth surface square to the edge.

I got a second miniature plane this Christmas, it won't take a shaving but it will contain my keys.

Thanks Barb and Eric!

New Gets

I must have been a nice woodworker this year, because Santa brought me plenty from the tool store. My first Christmas present this year was a Lee Valley Pocket Marking Gauge.

It is a double ended wheel cutting gauge, 4 1/2" long, stainless steel with hardened steel cutters.

The locking screws bear down on a brass disc, to prevent scoring the shaft which would make sliding the head difficult.

The heads are a beautiful piece of machining, and just large enough to provide an adequate bearing surface while in use.

The cutters are sharpenable, and replacements are available. They are held on by a philips head screw, and fully retract into the head for safe storage.

The blade is a single bevel, positioned to draw the tool tight to the stock. The line formed is crisp, straight, and accurate.

This will become my main marking gauge, and I think that it is one of the best tools for laying out dovetail base lines. Its size is scaled for that type of fine work, and the double head is useful if your drawer sides and fronts are of different thicknesses.

Thanks Thomas!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Current Work

Dining Table

Planktop Table- Strongbacks

The skirts on this table will help keep the top flat, but to help out I'm going to make and install three strongbacks.

I start by milling up 6/4 walnut about an inch wide and a couple of inches shorter than the space between the skirts. The strongback is screwed to the underside of the table, the holes for the screws are slotted to allow for expansion of the top. I use a spiral bit mounted in the shaper to cut the counterbore slots. The fence is positioned so the bit is centred in the stock. A mark is placed on the fence indicating the bit position. The stock is placed so that a layout mark on the bottom is lined up to the one on the fence, the machine is switched on, and the bit is raised. I count the number of revolutions I crank the handle so that I can repeat the depth on the next hole. The stock is advanced until it contacts the stop block, and the bit is lowered below the tabletop again. A featherboard keeps the stock secure.

A clearance slot is made with a handheld router.

Next I layout a radius on the ends, bandsaw the curve, and use the edge sander to clean up the saw marks.

From there they get cleaned up with a handplane.

The edges are broken with the block plane.

I use a screw with a washer head, but another option is Chris Becksvroots slotted Expansion Washers.

The strongbacks are mounted, the centre is tightly fastened, the slots allow expansion from the middle, yet help keep the top flat.

Fully assembled.

Ready for finish.

Planktop Table- Base Assembly

Because of the angled joinery, the base is easiest to assemble and clamp as an entire structure. The floating tenons are glued into the skirts and allowed to cure. Glue is applied to the leg mortises and the unit is clamped up.

Because the leg mortises are cut in line with each other the top of the leg is weaker than one with perpendicular mortises. Dragging the table creates a large amount of leverage at the top of the leg, and it could split. A cornerblock is made to strengthen the leg.

I placed a second corner block to further reinforce the joint.

Z-clip slots are cut with a biscuit joiner and a spacer.

The base is mounted to the top with clips and screws.

The clip is a secure mounting method that allows for seasonal movement.

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I'm a woodworker on the Canadian prairie.