For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Squaring up

Important in making anything, whether in wood or metal, is making parts square. It's easy in metal, I put it in the mill. In wood, however, I need to plane by hand. It's nice when it all works out.

Even for simple projects, before anything else can happen, the stock you're using needs to be as square as you can get it. I'm not going to get into the process here, really. I was just very happy yesterday evening when I planed up a piece and found that it was as near perfect as I could imagine.

One of my 6" machinist's squares. I like them because they are way more accurate than a typical woodworking square. This particular one is within .0006" over it's length. I have a couple of different sizes here at home. I also use them at my shop and at work. My local hardware store has them and they are reasonably priced. Most would say that a square made to this level of accuracy is not required for woodworking, and they are likely correct. However, when you factor in cost, it's the best choice. I get these for about $20.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kalamazoo Belt Grinder: Primary Bevels

One of the reasons I wanted to buy my belt grinder was grinding plane irons. Lets face it, I'm rubbish with a 6" grinder. I tend to get uneven and overheated results. If you use a bench grinder, you know how quickly you can overheat a blade. I try to be good about quenching...but.

The irons for my Stanley #5 need the primary bevels, here we go:

You can see that the secondary bevel has all but overtaken the primary bevel. I have two irons for this plane, and they are both in this state. Time to put a fresh 25 degree primary on.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Getting a handle on things?

Literally? hmmm...ok, maybe I'm not very witty all of the time.

The current state of my tiny little shop. Scraper handles in the making...scrapers in the making...lots of tools. That's six sets of handles, from redheart and Brazilian cherry. Handles are the time consuming part of this process, and I'm working to bring them under control.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Kalamazoo Belt Grinder, continued

In between baking a cheesecake and resting my tired bones (seriously, I've had enough of winter. the shoveling is killing me), I took some time to get my belt grinder set up.
I'm already in love!

Temporarily set up in my work shop. This machine will be heading for the basement. I don't want to grind where I work on wood.  I purchased a switch, box, and cable to set up the power cord. The table top is just cheap coated fiber board. It's heavy and absorbs vibration...which is what counts.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Kalamazoo Belt Grinder

I want a belt grinder. Well, wanted. I now have one. The thing about belt grinders is that they can get incredibly expensive. The saying, "you get what you pay for" applies.
There are a lot of options out there. This is one time when you have to bite the bullet and spend a few bucks. Some of these options can range over $2000. However, you can still do it without dropping a full paycheck.
What's out there? If you're going to be hardcore about it, you run out and grab a 3 wheel grinder that runs a 2" by 72" belt. There are more belts available for that size than any other size out there. Starting price? The least you can expect to spend is about $600 (without a motor).
I don't have that kind of cash. I went to the 2" by 48" size. My belts are more limited, but I can still get a high quality grinder and have a good enough belt selection to do what I want. So...enter the Kalamazoo belt grinder...
My new Kalamazoo grinder, with a basic selection of belts.