Thursday, January 24, 2008

Saw Till

Recently, I was re-arranging the shop - again, and finally moved my saw till down near my low bench where I do 95% of my sawing. Duh.

Anyway, I realized I didn't have a shot of the till - although I swear I took some when I made it a couple of years ago - so I took one. Here it is:

The main idea was simple - hold saws. But as usual, I made it a much more complicated project my adding "design" to it. I wanted the shape of the till to somehow reflect the contents (a concept I would revisit again later when I made my moulding plane shelves). I settled on a stylized version of the Disston handle and skew back.

And yes, the dovetails on the front rail are cross-grain and therefore "wrong". I can't remember if I was being a rebel ("Breakin' the law! Breakin' the law!") or just clueless. Regardless, it has held up fine, although it does open up a little in the winter. And of course I made it too small!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Stanley 4 1/2 Rehab

Here's an overview of the process of putting an old plane back to work. My goal was not to recreate "as new" condition, just return it to good working order.

Here is the plane as "found":

The main functional issue was the broken tote. Asthetically, I believe this type 11 should have a low know in the front (I have heard that some type 11's did have the taller knob, but I prefer the low knobs...). It was also rather dirty/rusty.

First order of buisness: fix the broken tote. This involved: cutting and planing the broken end to create a flat surface for gluing on new wood, finding something similar to the rosewood of the original handle (I used some mystery, tropical, dull your chisel fast, wood that I had laying around), gluing the new wood to the tote, boring the counter-sunk bolt hole, shaping the new piece to match the tote, and finally finishing up with some shellac and oil/wax.

Cleaning up the body, frog, blade etc, was just a matter of elbow grease (on really tough jobs I use my electrolysis set-up...which I will hopefully post about at some point...). I also salvaged a low knob from a parts plane. Then just sharpened the blade, tested the shavings and it was cleared to join the rest of the type 11 herd.