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Pete W

Established Member
31 Jan 2004
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Managed to invest a couple of hours in the workshop (or what will be the workshop eventually) over the weekend. Most of it was spent organizing and tidying but I did set up a scary-sharp station with a length of toughened glass salvaged from an old glass-shelved cupboard, and a variety of grits of wet-n-dry.

My family bought me a set of Marples chisels for Christmas, so I went through them one by one and was pretty impressed with them out of the box - backs seemed pretty flat to my ignorant eye, and the edges were un-nicked and square to the sides. So I ran through the grits and, lo! - they will in fact shave the hairs from my forearm!

Emboldened by this success, I set about fettling the Stanley jack and block planes that another department of the family bought for Christmas. With Andy Rae's rather excellent "Choosing and Using Hand Tools" open on the bench, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I managed to disassemble said planes, flatten and sharpen blades, adjust chipbreakers, *and* reassemble them!

On a roll now, I put a short length of 2x2 PAR timber in the bench vice, adjusted the depth of cut to "pretty fine" and sliced off a few beautiful, long curly shavings.

I'm sure all of the tools will benefit from further attention but this was my first attempt at tool sharpening and the very first time I've used a plane. So I'm pretty happy :D.
Pete.... from experience, you might wanna flatten the soles of the planes too...shouldn't take too long....
Midnight":3n2f1qno said:
Pete.... from experience, you might wanna flatten the soles of the planes too...shouldn't take too long....

I'm sure you're right, and I'll give it a go some time this week. Just didn't want to push my luck first time... :).
Hand tools cutting beautifully is a soulful sensual feeling 8) ..........don't you just Love it !!! :D :D

That's it really - you're done. Once those wispy shavings start coming out you've finished with those tools and can go and buy some more... :wink:
Nice One Pete,
Welcome to the world of hand tool tweakage-once you start you just can't stop!
(You may even find yourself choosing hand tools over power tools sometimes!)
Philly :D
Philly":3cufzulm said:
You may even find yourself choosing hand tools over power tools sometimes

I'm sure :). Without being religious about it, I think I'll be doing most of my woodworking with handtools. I suspect, like many, I was lured into this bottomless money pit watching Norm and when I first started planning a workshop I was thinking table saw, planer/thicknesser, router table, drill press and all the other machines.

But the more I learned, the more I became averse to screaming motors. Also, I'm another one of those who work with computers all day and a large part of the appeal of working with wood was the chance to do something tactile and 'hand-crafted'. When I watch the woodworking shows and read the mags, a lot of it just seems like 'wood engineering' rather than what I've always thought of as woodworking.

As I say, it's not religious - I do own a number of power tools (jigsaw, circular saw, drills) - and I'm sure there'll be a router soon, and a couple of smaller machines in my future. For now, I'm happy to learn the hand tools and when I come up against my limitations I'll look to machinery to help out.
You got it, man!
Use machines to do the "hard" work, then use your hand tools for the sweet stuff. :D
Happy WW-ing,

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