Small steps that make me smile

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  • #6561
    Ron HarperRon Harper
    Participant

    If you have read my posts you may remember that I am a retired guy (5 months) who used to be a power tool furniture maker. For a lot if reasons, I have been away from the craft for ten years. I am back now, with a vengeance, but as a hand tool woodworker, again, for a lot of reasons. In my old shop I did some hand tool joinery, dovetails, and the occasional mortise and Tenon joint, but it would have never occurred to me to size stock with hand tools.  Well, as a hand tool woodworker, that has all changed and the learning curve has been interesting. Actually, that is probably not the best way to say it. The brain knows what it is supposed to make the body do. The body has been reluctant to get with the program.  I spent 4 hours in the shop this afternoon, and I noticed that I finally have gotten the plane that I use for shooting tuned to the point that it takes wispy shavings off the end of a ” borg” whitewood 2 x 4.  A smile. A bigger smile came just seconds after that when I realized that even with wispy shavings, I am spending drastically less time at the shooting board. That signals a marked improvement in my sawing in the last three months.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 20 total)
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  • #6565
    Steve FollisSteve Follis
    Participant

    @crance

    That is great Ron!

    I remember last year when I got Paul’s book and video series, I made a Dovetail Template out of a piece of scrap Walnut.  I impressed myself.  It was a much better job than the ones I had made in my teens, many years ago.  I showed it to my kids and they just looked at me as if I was out of my mind.  Now I see on this site where guys have made there templates and are showing them off with pride.  It’s not a matter of them showing off a masterpiece, it is a matter of pride in them doing something with their hands that they never thought they could.  I went an pulled mine out and looked at it again, I keep it in the top drawer of my tool box, midway back on the left side, its own special place.  It brings me pleasure just to hold it and look at it, it is my own Rembrandt.

    Memphis, Tennessee

    #6573
    Mark Craryspecmtn
    Participant

    @specmtn

    Ron / Stephen

    I too am recently retired (95%).  Redefining my workshop, fix’in and tuning saws and planes that were my grandfathers, and starting to create and make wood projects certainly has been rewarding.  Sure does make ya smile.  Thinking about chopping a mortise thru 3 inches of spruce for the workbench project was at first terrifying – now, can’t wait to do it again.  I also can’t wait to get my grandsons in the shop soon.

    #6575
    Anonymous

    [quote quote=6573]I too am recently retired (95%)[/quote]

    Hi Mark,

    I too am recently retired (95%) and right with you on chopping out mortices. Now I’m much faster and love it. I agree making projects with hand tools is so very rewarding 

    #6578
    Dave RiendeauDave Riendeau
    Participant

    @dave

    Hey Ron,  I agree,  many moons ago I was sort of fumbling my way through projects and having relied on magazines (pre-internet days) for my only real source of info, making a box seemed like an impossible task for me.  Shop machines, dovetail jigs, routers were beyond me financially. 20 years later along comes Paul and I now proudly own some 15 boxes of various shapes, 6 wallclock sent to family for xmas gifts, a workbench and my soon to be completed tool cabinet.  All within 6 months of me buying his DVDs.  All this done with a hand saw, a plane and a tape measure and square.  It really is an uplifting experience.

    -Canada

    #6579
    FlorianFlorian
    Participant

    @jfe1978

    It’s a kind of magic…

    When I made my first and extremely ugly dovetail joint I was so fascinated that I stared at it in every free minute for more than a week. It happened that I just sat on a chair in my room with this (something around) 90 degree angle in my hands and when my girlfriend came in she said:”Are you still watching your dovetail?!”

    It took me more than 3 months to go in my garage without ending up planing any kind of wood that I thought would “need” a little planing. It is still tempting to plane around but since there are projects to be completed I try to stay focused.

    In one of the DVDs Paul introduces the spokeshave as his “favourite tool”. I thought: what can be so special about this little thing? Well than my own spokeshave arrived and unfortunately it was already pretty sharp out of the box…I tried it out and hours later I could hardly see the garage door thanks to the pile of spokeshavings.

    What I wanted to say: I could smile all the time since I found all this. I made a bunch of wooden clamps and had to bore 30 holes for the stops. I could listen to my favourite music while I did it and didn’t miss a single tone.

    @stephen: I think – like your kids- most of the people around me believe that I am out of mind 😉 Probably I am and it feels not too bad 🙂 when you are in love, you are out of mind, too. I find myself explaining drawboring to my friends from the tennisteam 🙂

     

    All the best!

     

    Florian

     

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #6581
    Ken DartKen Dart
    Participant

    @hentzant

    Yes Ron its great being retired.I’m 6 months into this new life of being at home each day  basically having the free time to do what you want.I have  retired to Brittany in Nothern France from the UK.Whilst visiting family over the Christmas holidays i discovered pauls video’s on Utube my family thinks that i am loosing it! I heard my granddaughter say to my daughter “He just sits there listening to this bloke sawing” is he all right?? Well I’m more than all right , I have been aquiring hand tools on Ebay to suppliment my meagre range of hand tools and I have put my crosscut  saw and power router in mothballs.Now how do i cut those blind dadoe’s  for that oak shelving unit??

    #6582
    jonkilleenjonkilleen
    Participant

    @jonkilleen

    @everyone…….thanks god it’s not just me then.  I was starting to worry I had something wrong with me!

    I’m working on a project to turn an old desk into a couple of bedside tables at the moment.  I ran around the garden in a victory celebration when I successfully rounded over the edges of the table tops using Paul’s method with a No.4 plane.  No tear-out on the end grain, just lovely, smooth, 45 degree creases on the corners.  My wife is very supportive of my new ‘hobby’ but she is policing the amount of time I spend in my sub-zero garage workshop.  I went out ‘for an hour ‘ at 13.05 on Saturday and she had to come and drag me back into the house at 18.00!!  That says it all for me.

    Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire

    #6583
    Ron HarperRon Harper
    Participant

    @ronharper

    Florian…… Be extremely careful. Spokeshaves are highly addictive. If resources permit, you can wake up and discover that You have a dozen of them .  Draw knives are wonderful also, but, for me not as addictive.

    working today on a new 4 ft joinery bench.  My other bench will be used for planing and small project assembly.  Will do photos of new shop arrangement soon.

     

     

    #6594
    jonkilleenjonkilleen
    Participant

    @jonkilleen

    A spokeshave is my next purchase.  Not sure what sort to buy though, other than it should being flat (as opposed to convex or concave).  Anyone have any suggestions?  I’ve looked at a few #151’s for sale on eBay.  There’s also the Veritas versions.  One that I am being drawn to is this one… http://www.workshopheaven.com/tools/Quangsheng_Flat_Bottomed_Spokeshave_Bronze.html or possibly the steel variant of the flat one.  I’m thinking I should go for a metal bodied variant.  The wooden ones look scary to me……or am I being a whimp?

    Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire

    #6602
    Anonymous

    This one for me Jon, just ordered It 🙂

    #6604
    Steve MassieSTEVE MASSIE
    Participant

    @smassiesr

    I am also a retired and finding my new love, hand tools.  I still have most of the corded cousins but other than using the bandsaw and drill press ( shopsmith ) occasionally, it is all hand tools or trying my best at it

    I am in the middle of chopping mortices’s Paul’s way through 2 X 4’s  for my bench build ( Paul’s bench ) and am actually enjoying it.  I won’t brag about my Dove Tail Marker I made from Paul’s book, lets just say a new one is in the future.

    But I am enjoying the relaxing work in the shop with hand tools and learning along the way.

     

    Steve

     

    Steve

    Steve Massie, I live in the great State of Florida, US

    #6611
    FlorianFlorian
    Participant

    @jfe1978

    Hey Jon,

     

    I am using a Kunz 51A, which is a german replica of an old Stanley. It cost € 16.50 and works great. I call it frog since it’s green with a red cap iron. The store where I bought it said that the iron was not 100 percent satisfying and recommended to buy an extra iron of better quality. So far I can see no disadvantage with the iron that came with it. It’s razorsharp and holds the edge. More than enough for me. One day I want to buy one with wooden handles 🙂 by the way: today I got my first iron plane (beside the router and the record 44)  namely a low angle block plane from juuma. It’s made in China but the manufacturing quality seems to be great. If I remember correctly, Paul once wrote something about their range of bench planes he tested.

    Episode three wants to be watched 🙂

    Florian

    I enjoy working wood in Germany.

    #6612
    dpauldpaul
    Participant

    @dpaul

    Florian,

    “Watching dovetails”……that is too funny.  I think we creatures must all be about the same.  There is a trance-inducing nature to dovetails wrought by our own hands.

     

    D. Paul

    #6613
    jonkilleenjonkilleen
    Participant

    @jonkilleen

    @d Paul Stone. Mine are more like chicken’s butts than dove’s tails, but improving. They are addictive though.

    @ken. I’d be interested to hear what you think of it when you’ve tried it out. It is a thing of beauty!

    Yorkshireman currently living in Hampshire

    #6626
    dbennettdbennett
    Member

    @dbennett

    Hey, Jon. I have three spokeshaves, two metal, one wooden, all old, none with names. The one I find myself using most often is the wooden one. It just seems to slide and tip easier than the other two. Its adjustment is a tap it here or there, but it works very well.

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