You hang around forums long enough, or have a hand tool website, and you are bound to be asked for your advise on hand plane purchasing. I hesitate a little in answering these questions because I know at the end of it I am some what responsible for someone else's money.
So, let me first say, these are my views as I have developed them over the past several years. Both, as someone who uses hand tools and power tools, at home and at work on a daily basis. If anyone else wants to throw in their 2 cents, please do below in the comments section. I am open to all opinions and thoughts, as long as they are productive and positive.
The questions submitted to me is this:
I would really like to become more of a hybrid woodworker but I just don't know much about hand tools. What I've learned thus far really has all been online and magazines here and there. What hand tools would you recommend in order to be able to handle flattening and squaring up lumber? I don't know really much about the different types of hand planes. I would imagine the first step would be a jointer plane.
I ask because recently my thickness planer crapped out on me and I'd tried to go cheap on a jointer. I really would enjoy using hand planes and what not but I don't know what to buy, what kind of brands to look for, stay away from, that sort of thing.
Making tools has become a full time job for some, and for others just a hobby. For me, it is a way for me to save hundreds of dollars and get exactly what I need.
In this episode I install the Twin Screw vise on the thick 5" slab and flatten the bench top. Installing a twin screw on a thick top can be tricky, but with the right approach it can be done without sacrificing the bench top integrity.
The bench flattening is one of those procedures that can be very intimidating to some. Even driving people to construct elaborate jigs to be used with a router to get the job done. With the right tools, a little technique, and patience, the job can be done rather quickly with just one or two hand planes.
Hope you enjoy the video. And please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you have not already. When you subscribe you can get updates when I upload new videos.
Thanks for watching.
The new bench build is moving along nicely. Now with both slabs attached and both vises installed, I can finally get a sense of the versatility of the new bench.
Building this bench made me start thinking of how we name our benches. We have the Roubo, the Nicholson, Holtzapffel, and even new versions like Paul Sellers. All of these benches have been named after an individual even though they, for the most part, are just small variations of regional benches made for years.
So, as I get closer to the completion of my workbench, rooted in the French style, I proclaim a new name. The Schenher bench. My bench. Not that it is anything ground breaking, only that it is my bench and designed to my specifications. With a few more additions it will be completed and ready for a lifetime of use.
In the coming week I will receive my inset vise and soon after a hand forged holdfast for the new bench. And I still have to install the center divider, the shelf, and drill some dog holes for the inset vise. Soon enough it will be finished and it will be time for some trial runs.
My question to you is: Do you have a favorite bench that is NOT a pure traditional form? Something that has been altered to meet your personal needs. I feel it is safe to build a purely traditional style bench, but I think it is better to build a bench suited to your personal needs. We are all a little different, so why shouldn't our benches be.
Well, the workbench build is moving right along. In this, the third episode, I chop out the mortises in the top, install one slab, and construct and install the tail vise. Many little steps, but the end result is well worth the time.
There are many roads to sharpness, everything from sandpaper to diamond stones to natural stones. But, once we get to the end of our mating dace with the stones, how do we know we are sharp?
I've seen several ways of testing for a zero radius. The thumb nail test, paper cutting tests, shaving ones body hair, looking at the blade under light, shaving pine end grain, and even shaving skin off of the thumb(which I don't recommend).
Out of all those tests which one provides the best example of sharpness? Well, I don't know, at least not yet. I have thought about this for a while and always wanted to test the different methods, not only with one blade, but with several blades at different levels of "sharpness". The closest I can get to a scientific test.
To accurately report on these different tests I would like to know what the majority of people do to test sharpness. So, check out the poll and let me know. I have a feeling the results of the final test (which will be on video) will be quite surprising. Hopefully.
I think I sat down several times to write a review for this book, but something stopped me. It wasn't anything bad; on the contrary, it was something very impressive. Every time I thought of posting this review another review would be posted by someone else. I don’t like to write material on the exact same subject as someone else. I like variety, so I would hold off, but I can’t hold off any longer. The book is just too good not to post another rave review.
Well, it took me long enough to edit this video. I was originally planing on having this ready almost a week ago, but just couldn't find the time.
So, here it is. In this, the second video of the Roubo build, I get the undercarriage done. To include, installing the leg vise screw nut and making the mortise for the parallel guide. Though I don't talk much about the parallel guide in this video, I will talk about it in the next video with the install of the leg vise.
And remember. Always wax your screw.
Leaf Pattern Holdfasts
Tapered End Holdfasts
With the building of my new workbench I have a good problem to deal with. That problem is my holdfasts. I currently use the holdfasts made by Tools For Working Wood. They are great holdfasts and they don't break the bank, which is a good thing. But, with my new bench top coming in at just a tics hair under 5", the holdfasts I have will not work. Well, they would but then I would have to counter bore holes and all that fun stuff that I just don't want to deal with. So, enter Black Bear Forge
While cruising the internet today I fell upon John Switzer at Black Bear Forge, and most importantly his holdfasts. He produces a fair amount of products besides holdfasts which peaked my interest too. Something to remember for some future projects. But, currently its the holdfasts that have me salivating. Traditional Holdfast
He currently produces three different holdfast, of which I have decorated this blog post with. And the best part I feel is that they are all reasonably priced. This last one here, the Traditional Holdfast, is the one that really speaks to me. Good reach, low profile, and only costs $75.00, which is the most expensive go figure. To me that is a more than fair price since they are made to fit your personal bench specifications.
Though I don't currently own a holdfast from John right now, I am looking to purchase one or two very soon. So stay tuned for a future post about that.
I just wanted to through this out to the online community in case anyone was interested in some good old fashion holdfasts. Take some time and peruse John's site over at Black Bear Forge
, he sure does make some nice stuff.
Just some old guys and a workbench.
I received an email question today the I thought I would share. Anytime I receive a question like this I feel compelled to share it online so that others may contribute to the conversation, and maybe it will answer some questions of their own.
So, below is the original email that I received from Jesper concerning bench size, bench placement, and the dreaded paralysis by analysis.
I will try to answer to the best of my ability, but again, if anyone has input please share it.