Monday, March 23, 2015

Saw Bench Class Continued...

Breaking down the stock
Wow, what can I say about Saturday's saw bench workshop. It was an honor to work with you all, and your enthusiasm for trying new things was inspiring. Everyone did really well and I could see that sawing skills had really improved by the end of the session! I hope everyone had fun, I know I did.

For everyone who took home a bench that was incomplete. I'm working on a sheet that shows the tools we used, the joint details and assembly, an overall view and a materials list. I should have this available for download later this week.

Now I hope to remember and address some of the questions that came up from everyone during the workshop.

  • For those interested in the saw we were using the Great Neck N2610, here's a link. I think it's a pretty good value in a 10 tooth per inch (TPI) traditional handsaw. There is also the N26S which is 8tpi. Fewer teeth per inch cut faster but rougher. If you're beginning or only have one saw the N2610 is a better choice I think. One of this things I like best about these saws is that you can resharpen them, they are not disposable tools. Restoring a vintage saw is also a good option. 
  • There were lots of questions about the Stanley #5 hand plane we were using in the class. This is commonly referred to as a jack plane. Good new hand planes that are ready to use are quite expensive. Probably the best way to get a plane is to pick one up a yard sale or flea market and work on fixing it up yourself. There's a lot of info on the web on how to do this, here's a good article that you may want to start with from a respected site. You'll learn a lot about planes and how they work in the process. 
  • Sharpening. Ask 5 woodworkers get 5 answers... Anyway, I'll be doing a program on July 18th at the Landmarks Preservation Resource Center on sharpening planes and chisels. I'll discuss more on it later but people will be welcome to bring their own planes and chisels to work on. 
If there's anything that you're curious about that I missed feel free to leave a comment on this post and I'll do my best to provide a decent answer. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Planes for the Saw Bench Workshop

Get your hands on these at the build a saw bench workshop.
I've been getting these planes cleaned up and sharpened in preparation for participants to use at the saw bench workshop coming up this month. While making the saw bench doesn't include a lot of hand plane action, it does provide an introduction to these tools for trimming and cleaning up.

For the uninitiated that may be reading, the little guys on the left are block planes, and the larger to the right is the common Stanley Bailey #5, usually referred to as a jack plane. We'll be using the block planes to trim up our joints and the jack planes to cleanup and size pieces after sawing.

In my opinion if you are going to work with wood, whether with power or hand tools, you should probably own these two planes. I use mine all the time and are the two planes that are on my bench the most often. And if you come to the workshop you'll be able to try out a plane that's sharp and ready to use.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Build a Bench

It's gonna look something like this
March is here and I just wanted to give a little background on the presentation coming up at the Landmarks Preservation Resource Center on Saturday March 21st at 10am. Several of this year's workshops are going help people gain some basic hand carpentry skills by having participants do some projects.

The first project is going to be to build a version of sawing bench shown above. The skill emphasis in this project is primarily measuring and layout, along with sawing accurately. There will also be some hand planing and fastening using screws or nails. Everyone will also learn a couple of basic woodworking joints. 

We'll have enough tools and materials for 8 people to work along and keep the bench they build. While it is a saw bench it's perfectly good for sitting too, as well as plants, or what have you.