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  • #309012
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Thanks, entitdigital! And guess what I got: A brand new smoothing plane 😀

    Dieter

    #309018
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    Happy Birthday Dieter.

    Sorry you’re under the weather but it looks like you’re making great progress.

    Yes you’ll find it beneficial to have two #4 planes.

    Good luck this week,

    Rick G

    #309026
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Now I really started the bench top planing. At first, I put each 5 pieces together and used a clamp to see, what I got. In most casees, I might get away with planing out the sawmarks. One piece is bent quite a lot, but I have one too many. However, another one is really twisted and ondulated over the length. No matter what, one of these boards needs to be planed and will lose at least 3 mm (1/8″) of its thickness. I will take the one that is easier, which is probably the curved one, because I already struggled with the ondulated one for at least 30 minutes, because it has nasty knots too. So, I have two packages of 5 boards now, and these will be glued up individually, once ready.

    My workplace is simple: Two saw-horses (the new one, wich is finished now, and one of the old ones which has exactly the same height) for support. Instead of clamping, I either sit on the board or rest it against the wall. When I rest the board against the wall, I protect the wall with a thick blanket.

    I like to schedule my work, even if I don’t know, what is right. So, my plan is to have both packages glued up by the weekend. If that works, I’ll have the legs ready the weekend after that one.

    By the way, the new plane iron doesn’t feel right yet. It is pretty long and this causes thicker shavings to get stuck on the lever cap. Perhaps, pulling back the frog will help a bit. But I will also see, if the old blade is good enough for this fairly rough job already. It will get straighter with further sharpening on my new flat stones, so that would be the perfect “healing” process. And the new blade needs some more sharpening sessions to get the bevel right. It is still hollow between the flat part of the iron and the edge. It does work, but it feels very different compared to the old one, and not on the good side.

    Dieter

    PS: I can see now, why Paul Sellers used two screws to attach each leg of the saw horse. First of all, it is easier, to get the legs in the exact position and second, it might even add to the stability. However, the only movement in my sawhorse, that I can see, is bending the top rail. I don’t use sawhorses much, so I will oil it, when I am done making the workbench. The oil will have hardened the next time I take it out.

    #309050
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Another two logs planed. I also tried a third one (actually the first one), but it resisted quite a lot. I think, I am learning a bit to read the grain now. There are many knots and the grain often changes direction there. In some cases, I have to plane towards the knot, in others away from it, sometimes, if a knot is on a side, the grain keeps its direction on the other side. I attack these knots carefully now and get much less tearout.

    I have marked two logs with an X now, they might need replacement. Another one is a real banana, so I won’t even try to use it (#11).

    So the plan has changed slightly: I will finish the first 5 logs for one half of the benchtop and laminate them. If everything goes fine, I have them assembled already. There are minor gaps, I mostly need to take out the saw-marks. There are knots, but I am getting better at working around them – quite literally, until they finally need to be levelled. Three logs to go, I might be finished tomorrow, quite certainly on Thursday. Then it is lamination time, so they don’t move again. The weekend is reserved for the legs. I think, they will take only very light planing, except for two pieces, which have curved surfaces (2nd from the right) – see attachments.

    I like to visualise my ideas, so here are some more fotos. The first picture shows only six logs for the benchtop, because I have put away the two, that are completely finished now. One more is half finished.

    Dieter

    PS: I am really exhausted tonight. I still have the cold, I have worked today and I have slept too little. But I think, the main reason is, that I am simply not used to this kind of work. I also rode my bycicle to work, 10 km one way, travelling speed around 28 Km/h (17 mph) and that was a piece of cake. Of course, I do this almost every day.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
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    #309082
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Log 1-4 planed, but they need refinement. Even with clamps, I cannot remove all gaps. Log 5 has turned into a banana overnight, I will see, if that can be fixed, but not tonight. I need to take off at least 5 mmm (3/16″) on both ends.

    A reminder to everyone (and me): Keep your plane sharp! I finally got the corners rounded and the bevel is complete, light convex shape all the way to the edge. I also backed the frog a little, because the opening was really small between edge and plane sole. Both combined, I got a plane, that cuts much better than yesterday.

    With the plane fixed, I am much more confident now. And I am not exhausted at all, even though I did three logs instead of 1-1/2, and I have fixed some defects on the first two pieces.

    Dieter

    #309101
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Ok, log 1 and 2 are mating well now. Log 2 and 3 not so much, but I am getting closer. It would be perfect to have perfectly flat surfaces on the first glue line, because every small deviation there seems to multiply on the next glue line. I consider averaging lines for each glue line, to ensure, that both outside faces of the bench top half will be fairly parallel right away. It will also take care of more even top and bottom surfaces, I think. It won’t be necessary to plane down to these lines, but I can use them as guide lines and see to stay parallel.

    I have a large aluminium profile, that is intended to check floor surfaces for flatness. 180 x 20 x 2 cm wide, and it looks really square, flat and straight. The more I use it, the faster my progress, and I am slowly learning to transform, what I see, into plane strokes. Tomorrow, I want to finish the second glue line and re-organise my working space a bit. I should have sharpened my plane today, but the way to my sharpening stones was blocked, so I didn’t. It wasn’t too bad, but, as I said in my last post, a sharper plane is much better. And there are a few more things to improve. For example, I don’t need the logs for the second bench top on the saw horses. However, I need to know, which one is next to work on. A seasoned woodworker could probably still do a good job under these conditions, but they are distracting, and I am not a seasoned woodworker at all, I am a newbie, no matter, how much I already know in theory. Matter of fact: I ignore things, because I am distracted.

    And a new plan: I will finish both bench tops first. This might be the hardest part on the entire workbench, so mastering that will be quite a treat.

    Dieter

    #309160
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    I hope my cold is cooling down now. the last two days were pretty bad, I feel much better today, and so I returned to work, matching the surfaces of the benchtop to be glued. It seems, that the first ones, that I declared finished, haven’t moved, so the wood might have dried down to workshop level now.

    Today, I almost finished the second joint, log 2 and 3. Log 3 must have been one of the previous “bad” ones, that I had mistreated with the misshaped plane iron. I needed to remove a lot of material to get the sides parallel again. I think, it is flat enough now, so I will continue on the corresponding face of log 2. If it goes on like this, I will have to add a 6th log to get to the planned width… I am at around 28 cm now, if I get to 25, I will go for 31 instead. This is tedious work (I might have said that before), but I think, I am getting better slowly. I use the straight edge a lot, I have good light now, and whenever I am clueless, I wait, until I got the right idea. And I set the plane very shallow, so errors grown slowly only.

    I think, I will glue up the first set of five logs, once they are done, because I want to see, if my judgement is good enough (neat gluelines, etc.). Sometimes, there is a voice in my head, telling me to call it “fine”, but I don’t listen. I can see, how the gaps are slowly closing. Probably, I will go over all joints again, before glueing up. And I will have to square the sides after.

    So far, I think, I made one mistake: I tried to do all the planing in one go – per log. Instead, I should have concentrated on removing the saw-marks and getting rid of major cupping and twist only. It seems much better, to work on the surfaces when marrying them. Or, perhaps, I simply started too early, but I cannot tell, when the wood had stopped changing shape.

    The new blade gets better and better. I have sharpened it twice since the last post and it takes very find shavings from spruce. It is a bit heavy, but with a lighter (smaller, wooden) plane, I might consider planing balsa wood.

    Dieter

    #309166
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    Dieter,
    Good to hear of your continuing progress and learning.
    Hope your cold improves quickly.
    Rick G

    #309179
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Hi Rick! I am getting my stamina back now. Tonight, I finished another two faces, so I have six done, two to go, and the outsides, which, I think, better be parallel for the clamps. I actually tried one of the bananas, it isn’t as bad as I thought. Meticuously testing with my straight edge gets me what I want. Sometimes, I still have to guess, especially, when it comes to parallel faces. Perhaps, I will make the front part of the bench top from 6 pieces and the other one from 5. I still have two plane models to finish (actually, most of them isn’t done yet), and the extra width on the front will be useful for that. No hurry for these planes, because I can’t even fly them yet, but they are on the long-term list.

    The new lamp also helps a lot. Good light is imparative for older eyes!

    Dieter

    #309214
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    There is no intuition guiding my plane. I have to plan every single stroke. But I am getting better at identifying areas where i might find high spots.

    The first five logs are done, I will add a sixth one, as mentioned yesterday. So glue up will be this weekend. I did grab a banana for log 5, and got it straight, so I have no worries about the other one. But I might need one more log, because the 11th one has long splits. I will try to glue them tomorrow (or tonight, if I feel like). If that stops further splitting, I will use the log. I have refined the previous glue lines and I might re-touch lines 3 and 4. The others look quite tight now. I might get a 12th log anyway, and add it to the second half of the bench top. Originally, I wanted 90 cm including well board and aprons, and with the same amount of width reduction on the second set of logs, I will get to 83 cm only, with 11 logs.

    Sometimes, I read, that people needed several months to get finished, so I wonder, what surprises are in for me. But I suppose, these times also reflect the urgency of other matters, that the makers had to take care of. I haven’t marked a dead-line yet, and I won’t do so, before I have started planing the legs. So far, I have spent around 5 hours planing, plus another two hours misshaping my logs. It wasn’t quite that bad, but I say so, to keep it simple. I did remove the saw-marks, but added ondulations and some bad tearout. Fortunately, even most of the tearout is gone now.

    Dieter

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
    #309222
    scott75
    Participant

    Glad you are still making progress…I definitely find myself planing too much without checking my progress which can be counterproductive. I need to tell myself less planing more checking! Keep at it I know my bench will not be done in less than a month mostly working an hour or two at a time…2 if I’m really lucky.

    Scott

    #309241
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    So, check more and it will be faster 😉 I haven’t got more time either, perhaps less, because each time I reach for my woodworking tools, I have to neglect my piano. And I rarely spent 12 Euro so well as for the aluminium straight edge.

    I bought another log today. It looks quite straight, and I didn’t find any defects. Some knots of course, they are inevitable at this price level. We shall see in two weeks… I also got two rolls of sandpaper, 80 and 120 grit, to flatten my older whetstones.

    Quick review on my new saw-horse: It is one of these devices, that I don’t notice anymore, once put to use. It might not be beautiful, but it fulfils its task perfectly – which is, why I don’t notice it. Once the work bench is finished, I will give it a few oil coatings and put it to rest until the oil has hardened.

    Dieter

    #309270
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Tonight was tough! The last log, I had planed, was the screwed one, almost literally a screwed banana, but that was not the problem. I had finished the glue-face of board #5 yesterday, and when I started the next face, I had a lot of tearing. There are two wicked knots and it took me quite a while to figure out, how to get them down, they were high-spots of course. I spent almost an hour, until I was soaked in my own sweat. Then I called it a day and solved some sudokus. Then I had another look, and got it finished in another 30 minutes. The width is 45 mm now, originally, it was 56mm. The last log is almost joined too, this was a piece of cake after the other one, even though it was the screwed banana. It only had a single and quite friendly knot. Tomorrow, I will have to plane the outside face, which means flattening the ends and taking out some twist.

    There are a few hight spots left on all faces, and I hope, I can remove them tomorrow, after a thorough sharpening of the plane iron. Tonight was quite hard on me and on the iron. Glue up on Saturday, and the other half of the bench top next week.

    I do recommend nasty logs for practise. I found this video tonight, should have seen it before: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0N5pV8N1H0. It shows, how the results change with certain settings and defects of the plane. It is in German, but you don’t need to understand a single word.

    Dieter

    #309293
    Richard Guggemos
    Participant

    Dieter,

    Good work, you’re making progress.

    Yes twice over regarding good light.

    There is a satisfaction, I think, in learning where to look for problems. Personally, I’ve developed a much better eye for seeing twists, without aides.

    Sounds like we have similar approaches to laminating the top – a little at a time. Next time it probably won’t be necessary but I’m glad to have used this approach.

    Knots are a big problem. Towards the end I resorted to drilling them down below the surface and then filling with epoxy. FWIW

    Good luck moving forward.

    Rick G

    #309303
    Hugo Notti
    Participant

    Tonight, I have glued up the first half of the benchtop. I had an intense planing session before, that took care of all the areas, that I had marked before. I then did a “dry clamping” and it looked fine. At some areas, on the upper side, there was no glue oozing out, but it was visible. At the bottom, less such areas, but not perfect either. But at the ends, it is tight all over the width. I am satisfied with this result, I think, I got to my current limits.

    What I didn’t expect: The glue bottle, that I used, has a bad shape for constant squeezing. It has a rectangle cross-section, too narrow for good squeezing on one side, too wide to grab it on the other. The round bottle, that Paul Sellers uses in his videos, is probably much more comfortable.

    I also bought a humidity meter at Aldi. 11 Euro doesn’t let me expect wonders, but I suppose, I can at least tell, if a piece of wood has more humidity than another one. The meter doesn’t react on any of the wood in my workshop, but it showed a significant amount of humidity on a recently cut piece in my garden. So, even if the accuracy is low, I can tell green wood from dry wood, and I can also detect wet walls in the basement. The meter does not give a different reading for the new log, which might be inaccuracy, but it is possible too, because the last week was quite dry. I will start the second benchtop with the other logs and plane this one last, to make sure, it is as dry as the others.

    As for the knots, I have developed a technique, that gives acceptable results on this type of work. I am doing very short and fairly slow strokes to identify the direction of the grain, then try not to mess up too much. When the grain direction changes on a small spot, I try pairing movements. I think, the worst idea is to attack a knot with a deep setting of the plane. The shallower, the better, even it it seems to take for ever to flatten the knot. On visible surfaces, I will probably revert to scraper, file or even sandpaper. I have tried chisels, but I think, a plane works better. By the way, the knots are not so difficult on this wood, it is the grain around them, which makes it so hard. The grain is as even as wheat on a field after a storm!

    Tomorrow, I will make some pictures of the first half of my bench top. A judgement of my work might be difficult based on these pictures, because the surfaces aren’t even. These logs have different widths – typical for cheap construction wood.

    Dieter

    PS: I decided, that this post can’t get away without pictures. This is a major benchmark in making my workbench, and also a record in my life, I have never ever used so much glue in such a short time!

    The ends are not even, there will be twist, but this is the best, I could do with the different width of the logs. If this poses a serious problem, I will plane the second half to similar width, but I hope, it won’t be necessary.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Hugo Notti.
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