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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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sontaku Knives

Today's mission was to see if I could get three blades ground. Mission accomplished. I also accomplished it early enough that I decided to go ahead and fire up the kiln. As I write this, they are approaching their hardening temperature. So, we'll see the finished product a little later.

Three blades, all shaped, with hardware holes drilled. These are ready to have the bevels ground.

A Little Bakery: Bouchons

I bake all of the time, I just forget to post about it here. So here's a little something that I made the other day...

Bouchons are one of my favorite desserts. Of the small, single serving type, they are tops. Basically a brownie in the shape of a cork. I love these little guys.

Tiny one or two bite treats. They are packed with flavor...and calories...and butter...and sugar.

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Ralph Gauge

About a week ago, Ralph Boumenot asked if I could make a gauge for him. He'd been hunting for about 2 years for someone to make it for him.

Normally, I would have posted this as I made it. However, I wanted Ralph to receive his gauge before I posted anything. You can read about it from him here. 

Basically, what Ralph wanted was a solid brass dovetail marking gauge, based loosely on an older Hayward design. Instead of the double angle on the gauge that most of us are accustomed to, he wanted a 1:7 slope on one side and square on the other. Sure, you have to mark and flip as you lay out your dovetails, but you also have a built in square on your gauge. I think Ralph is onto something.

Following is about how I made it.  Just highlights, really. Sometimes I forget to take pictures when I get going.

Before starting, I wanted to make a 1:7 gauge of my own. This will get used later to mill the final angle into the finished product. It will replace the parallels that are usually used while milling a part.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mill Tram

Part of routine maintenance and set up of a milling machine is tramming. This is setting up the machine so that the head and table are in proper alignment. Typically this is done by swinging a dial indicator over the surface of the vice or table and adjusting as needed.

Thankfully, there's a time saving double indicator available to speed up the process.

Edge Technologies came up with this awesome set up. This is the miniature model The two indicators are 3" apart. I believe the standard model is 5". This size is good for my mill, since it is a bench top machine. Though slightly less accurate than a 5" spread, it still can set up your machine to a very high tolerance.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Mixing Shellac

Until now I've been using premixed shellac. I think those days are done. Having just finished a knife for my dad, I'm sold on the idea of mixing shellac flakes.

For a 1 pound cut, I want to use half an ounce of flakes to 4 ounces of alcohol.

Knife For My Dad

Of course, at some point, I have to make a knife for my dad. I promised him a paring knife, and here it is. I modified the pattern a bit so that it wouldn't exactly match my other paring knives. This is also the first knife that I have finished with flake shellac.
The handle is Canary wood.

Friday, February 5, 2016

New Norris Iron

I hinted about this the other day, and almost for forgot to post it.
The first part I made on my new mill is an iron for my Norris plane. I wanted to be able to use the plane without wearing out the original iron.
All done at home, from cutting to heat treating to grinding.

Seriously, isn't this the coolest thing ever? Coming out of the oven at an ungodly temperature. The iron is A2 tool steel, which means it has to be wrapped in stainless steel foil during the heat treat. You're not seeing the blade're seeing the heat it's giving off THROUGH the foil! I geek out over things like this.

Mill Improvement

In using my new milling machine, so far there is only one thing that I haven't liked: the lock handles for the X and Y axis.

One of the two X axis locks.As you can see, it can hit the base of the mill as you move in the Y axis. Unless it is locked, it has a tendency to flop down.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Saddle Sqaure

Here is a simple tool that I made for work.

For my day job I build machines. Most of the machines I build or repair use a lot of 2" square tube for their frames. During the course of my day I have to add a lot of holes to the frames. Typically for hanging wires or airlines. I'd say more than 75% of the time, I'm drilling on the centerline of the tube. Most of the remaining time I'm probably going to place a hole at 1/2" from the edge.

Fruit Knife

Latest creation, a fruit knife. A2 steel, red heart handle.
This knife is the latest to come out of my work shop. I've had some trouble logging in and posting project progress. Hoping I have that fixed and I can get caught up. Got lots of stuff going on right now!