Goodbye Auckland

Discovered the following lines I typed into my notebook while in New Zealand last year. Bought my first ever car to travel at my own pace. I owned it for two months. Don’t intend to buy my second car anytime soon—unless I’m moving in, of cause.

Here I’m sitting on the brink of Auckland. Ordered my last meal a moment ago: BBQ ribs and fries. Concluding a week of eating out. Burgers, Pizza, Burritos. Leaving for the country side—camping gear onboard—I’ll be going back to cooking my own meals out of the back of my wagon. A 1999 Toyota Vista Ardeo. Not that you cared, a funny car nonetheless.

My Grandma is turning 82 years old today 🥳

This is my very first attempt at relief carving. I found it to be a satisfying process. Will continue to practice.

Hacked together a tool tray to extend my workbench slab.

It’s ugly but works and was cheaply made out of construction grade spruce.

At least I‘ll be less anxious of tools rolling off the bench.

Ugly Duckling Sharpening Station Prototype

Using the Richard Kell No.3 honing guide.

Will use this proto for a while before building a nicer box, I think.

I just had a play with Blocs Wave and Lanchpad for the iPad.

Using a library drum kit, I recorded my M4 and Didgeridoo into Blocs Wave. Then I recorded a live performance, adding effects inside Launchpad. Quite an intuitive and fun process, even though it was the first time using these apps.

Sharpen Up or Shut Up

Christopher Schwarz on sharp handtools. As always blunt entertainment.

Nothing to do with the meat of the article but here’s the argument to remember when encountering someone holding a grudge against sharpening jigs:

While honing guides are mocked by some woodworkers, don’t listen. It’s a jig to hold a cutter at a certain angle – just like a handplane is a jig to hold a cutter at a certain angle. What’s the difference? – Christopher Schwarz

I find the sharper my tools’ edges the more fun I have in the workshop.

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Weekend impressions:

  1. Found this birdhouse village hanging in my neighborhood and might have to steal the idea
  2. When carving a shell turns into looking like a pile of poop (the picture doesn’t do it justice) 💩
  3. Maple keys for w.i.p. Sawhorse‘s through tenons 🔪🐎 🔑

Clean Bathroom

The pathroom has been clean for a week.

Until about a week ago I tried a bunch of the common methods to keep the bathroom clean. Scheduling cleanup for a specific day of the week, for example. Or intending to clean it once it feels dirty.

None of these ever worked for me. If I plan to clean the bathroom on Mondays, I remember Monday evening and push it to Tuesday. On Tuesday I forget. When I plan to clean the bathroom once it looks dirty, it stays dirty for a week before I get to finally clean it.

The following is not an original idea but here is what I’ve been doing for the past week:

Keep cleaning detergent and a cloth in the bathroom. Before the daily shower spray and wipe down the toilet. While in the shower clean surfaces and appliances. After shaving—wich usually involves hair going everywhere—spray and wipe down the sink.

It takes less than a minute each time and the bathroom has been almost spotless ever since.

I find myself doing a smiliar routine in the workshop. Before leaving the space I put back my tools to where they belong, clear any surfaces and sweep the floor. This act gets me excited to come back the next day with a clear mind to a tidy shop.

Also I make my bed every morning, delighted to slip back in at night.

I purchased many tools over the past few months. Old and new. None get used as often as my Ridgely 777 pure bristle brush.

Shout out to (@thevintagetoolshop) for selling me this beauty.

Just finished my very first bridal joint quartet. Happy to say that with each one I managed to do a better job than the last. That’s what it’s all about ain‘t it?

Next up: four trough tenons, a couple with key and the other wedged

Building myself a workshop corner in the garage. First step: sawhorses Note to myself: Spruce end grain and chisels don’t get along very well.

#woodworking #wood #workshop

#prototyping makes tough decisions easier. ‘Though at one point you gotta bite the bullet and work on the real thing…but not just yet. #woodworking

Cutting Angle

I recently watched a fine video of Veritas Tools Technical Expert Vic Tesolin explaining the use of scraper planes to a bunch of ♥Aussies♥.

It answered the question for me of what cutting angle on a hand plane I want to use to give a piece of wood a smooth surface—in short, it depends.

Key Takeaways

The lower a blade’s angle of attack the more it cuts rather than scrapes which in return leads to a smoother surface.

If planing leads to tear-out, increase cutting angle. Because we favour a rougher (i.e. less shiny) surface over a torn-out surface.

The last resort is the cabinet scraper or scraper plane. Advantage of a scraper plane compared to a cabinet scraper is that is has a sole and so keeps the blade from digging into the wood. In other words it keeps a perfectly flat surface.

A Recipe

  1. Start with a low angle plane, e.g. a #62 Jack plane with a 25° blade (37° angle of attack) or a Japanese plane which is typically equipped with a 38° cutting angle.
  2. If tear-out occurs increase the angle with a different blade or a bevel down smoothing plane, e.g. a Stanley patterned #4 or a German smoother which typically cut at angles of 45° an 50°, respectively.
  3. If tear-out is still undeterrable on high angled planes such as a #62 equipped with a 50° blade (62° angle of attack) resort to a scraper plane which should lead to a tear-out free surface that’s still smooth enough to put a finish on without resorting to sanding.

Further Resources

There is a whole series of Vic Tesolin talking at Peter Sefton Furniture School about hand planes. It’s well worth a watch.