Right now, my wife Anita and I, should be in Lawrenceburg, Indiana doing the Over The Moon Vintage Market but, it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus.
It sucks because we spent months preparing for the show, buying inventory, painting antiques, making home decor items and pricing everything. Some of the items that Anita wanted to sell, she now has listed on Mercari and Facebook Marketplace in order to drum up some cash. She’s doing okay with it, but it’s nothing like what the sales would have had been at the show. What really sucks is that the two antique malls that Anita sells at are currently closed so money is really tight right now.
Here are the garden spoons I made back in the winter that I wrote about. I was hoping they would be a hit so I could determine if I should spend the time to make more. Now I’ll just have to wait.
Unfortunately, my huge display cabinet I built a couple of months ago will now have to remain in the basement until the next show in December. I was really looking forward to seeing how Anita would decorate it.
In all honestly, with everything that’s going on in the world, the cancellation of the show is small potatoes compared to what some people are going through with this virus. It’s during times like these you really need to count your blessings. Hopefully, things will be back to normal by the middle of June. Stay safe everyone.
I spent some time this weekend cleaning up my basement when I came across a set of casters lying around. I forget why I bought them, but they were just sitting in a box for some unknown reason. When I saw them, I thought to myself that I could use them to make a mobile base for my jointer.
I’ve owned a 6″ Delta Jointer since I was a kid. I use it from time to time but eveytime I do, I have to drag it out from behind my band saw so I can plug it in. The jointer isn’t huge but it does weigh over 100lbs so it’s kind of a pain in the ass to move. I thought about buying a mobile base for it but they run between $80-100. I’m too cheap to spend money on something I wouldn’t use that often so the jointer has never been upgraded with mobility.
When I found the casters I looked around for some scrap wood to make the base. The base of the jointer stand is 19″ wide by 35″ long so the inside of the frame it needed to sit in had to be 20″ x 36″. I grabbed some scrap 2 x 10’s and ripped them 2″ wide to make the frame. I wanted to make the long rails of the frame 40″ with 20″ stiles but as luck would have it, the longest piece of 2 x 10 I had was 36″ long so I had to make the rail of the frame 36″ and the stiles 24″ long. After the frame was screwed together, I took 1/2″ plywood, cut two squares, then cut them diagonal to make four triangles. Then I screwed, glued, and barbecued everything together.
Now is the part where I messed up. Since I was building this thing on the fly without plans, I didn’t think too much about the space the casters needed. I originally took a 2 x 8 and trimmed it to 6″ wide by 24″ long and attached it to the frame. The casters fit on the wood but they didn’t have enough room to spin around.
So, I had to add 1 1/2″ wide piece of wood to the 6″ to make the overall width 7 1/2″ wide or basically the width of a 2 x 8. Doh! Overall, I’m happy with the way it came out (especially since it was free). It actually took me longer to write this post than it did to make the mobile base. Now I won’t have to struggle dragging my jointer from behind my band saw everytime I need to use it.
During my last post, one of my followers was asking about a special tool I used to build a cutting board and I told him I’d write a post about it. It’s called a No 1 Odd Jobs and is based off a tool Stanley made back in the early 20th century.
I bought it at Garrett Wade about twenty years ago and is one of the handiest little tools I use around the shop. It’s made by SMTC. I have no idea what the letters stand for but I assume the TC stands for Tool Company.
One side of the ruler is metric which comes in handy when you ever have to deal with metric measurements but can’t find a ruler to help you out. Honestly, the only time I deal with metric measurements is when I’m messing around with Festool tools so I hardly ever use the metric side of this ruler.
The simplist part of the tool is the 90 and 45 degree marking gauges. Because of the tool’s size, it’s easier to mark 45 degree measurements with this than a large clunky combination square.
The tool comes with a marker but I never use it. I always use a pencil instead. You can use the marker to strike a line and use it like a marking gauge.
I use the tool most as a depth gauge. Either to gauge the height of my table saw blade, or to measure the bottom of a groove or mortise I cut.
There’s a pin at the top that makes it useful to use as a compass. I own a regular compass so I never use it for this either.
There’s also a bubble in the middle of the tool. I never use it. Maybe useful to help leveling pictures or small shelves but that’s about it.
Overall I love this little guy. I paid $40 for it 20 years ago and it’s still about $40 on their website. The original Stanley No 1 Odd Jobs go for around $40 without a ruler so, forget about saving some money by buying the original antique.
Here’s the link to the tool. Apparently, Garrett Wade is branding the tool with their name now and is no longer made by SMTC. By the way, I get nothing from this. I’m a nobody in the woodworking world so no one wants to use me to promote their tools.
Last weekend I had some Eastern White Pine scraps lying around after I finished building a display cabinet for my wife for her spring show which just got cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. I hate to throw the scraps away or toss them into the fire pit so I decided to make a small cutting board with them.
I ripped two of the boards 3″ wide and glued up the pieces. The third piece I ripped to 1 1/2″ wide which would serve as the breadboard ends,
After the glue dried, I sized the board to 16 1/2″ long by 12″ wide. I set up my table saw blade at 1/4″ tall with the furthest part of the blade 3/4″ from the fence using my little Odd Jobs ruler.
I cut grooves on the top and bottom of each end to create a 1/4″ by 3/4″ tenon across the board. I then cleaned up the rough marks with a chisel and rabbet plane so I would have a nice smooth tenon on each side of the board.
Then I took the two 1 1/2″ wide boards and ran a 1/4″ groove 3/4″ high down the edges to give me a nice groove that would be snug with the tenons.
I marked where I wanted the pins to go through the tenon and drilled through the breadboard ends with a 1/4″ drill bit. Then I took the ends and marked with the drill bit where the pins would intersect the tenon. Being this cutting board is small and the sides of the breadboards fit nicely with the tenon, I didn’t bother draw boring the joint.
I then drilled the holes and elongated the holes at each end with a round rasp to allow for seasonal movement as the wood will expand and contrast with changes in humidity.
I applied a little glue only in the center of the tenon, clamped and drove 1/4″ walnut dowel pins through all six holes.
After the glue dried, I cut the pins flush and sanded the surface up to 220 grit sandpaper. Then I trimmed the breadboard ends flush to the sides of the cutting board and sanded the edges.
I applied a couple coats of my black shellac I made to give it an aged look. I think the board came out a little too green in color, but my wife Anita likes it. She said it makes it look old and worn. It turned out to be a quick and easy project on a Sunday afternoon.
Last summer I built this farmhouse table to sell in our booth at the Ohio Valley Antique Mall in Fairfield, Ohio. I built it from construction grade 2x10s and my wife stained it a rich brown color. I thought the table would sell pretty quickly since I spent the time making real breadboard edges and Anita stained it to look like walnut. But after it sat in our booth for a couple of months, that wasn’t the case. We decided to bring the table home so Anita could paint it white.
When we put it in our dining room, Anita sat at the table and said that it was too tall. I built it to 31″ with 1/2″ protective feet on the bottom. She asked me to cut the table down 1″ so I grabbed a compass and handsaw and cut all four feet 1″ shorter. The feet turned from a tulip shape to a squished ball, but the legs still looked good.
Anita painted the table with white milk paint and distressed it to give it an aged look. I’m under a strict nondisclosure agreement so I’m not allowed to discuss her painting techniques. : ) Anita has people asking her all the time to give away her secrets so, all I can say is she paints with milk paint.
You can see the detail of her technique as she makes the grain pop through the paint.
A few days later, we bought four wooden chairs off of Facebook Marketplace and Anita painted them black. We ended up with a really nice dining room table for the time being until I build the table Anita really wants, a farmouse style trestle table made from white oak.
Last summer I had the opportunity to buy a Stanley No 1 plane at The Springfield Antique Extravaganza. The price the lady wanted was too good to pass up, so I went to the ATM a few times to get enough money out to buy the plane. I’ve wanted to own one of these planes for nearly thirty years so I was stoked to bring it home.
Everytime I see one of these little guys, they’re usually behind a glass case at an auctioneer’s table so holding one in my hand was a real treat. Stanley No 1 planes are often on the top of the bucket list for a lot of tool collectors. Unfortunately, their prices spiked over the past few decades so finding one at an affordable price is hard to do. I read stories from old time tool collectors that they could buy these planes at the flea market for $10-20 during the 1960’s and ’70’s. Today they command as much as $1000 or more. The odd thing is, is that Stanley never made these planes to be collectible. In fact, they were the most inexpensive bench plane they offered in their catalog. At $2.95, they were 32% cheaper than a Stanley No 3 plane which are still readily available at antique shows around the country. Never being able to use one, I often wondered what the purpose of these little guys were and how they were used.
When I got home I lightly cleaned the plane and sharpened the blade. When I flipped the plane over, I noticed that there were diagonal scratch marks on the bed. This told me that the original owner used the plane at an askew. I know when I use a plane at an askew, it’s either to prevent tear out on difficult grain or to clean up some blemishes on the wood. So I thought to myself that maybe these planes are used just to clean up little areas on the wood’s surface.
Last weekend I had a chance to test my theory. While making a display cabinet for my wife, I was planing some eastern white pine with my Stanley No 4 plane when I was getting tear out around the large knots in the wood.
The tear out wasn’t terrible as the blade on my Stanley No 4 is sharp and the bed has been fettled flat, but the tear out was still there. I decided that I would try to get rid of the tear out by using my No 1 plane.
Sure enough, after a few strokes, I noticed that the plane was cleaning up the tear out quite nicely. So I thought to myself, this must be one of the purposes of the plane. But then I started thinking about why a small plane like this would do a better job at shaving the wood than a well tuned No 4 plane. The only thing I can really think of is the small footprint on the No 1 helps the user focus on a smaller area on the wood’s surface. Also the mouth on the No 1 is tighter with less of a gap than my No 4 that is set for general planing. Both my No 4 and No 1 are sharpened the same way with water stones up to 12000 grit so it’s not that one of the plane’s blade was sharper than the other.
With how well the plane cleaned up my tear out I’m thinking that these planes were used for cleaning up the work surface and other small tasks. Whether it would be tear out, scratch marks, small gouge marks or even taking labels off of boxes. Remember these were cheap planes that were made for daily use but never took off in the marketplace. Because there’s not very many of them available, supply-and-demand shot their prices to the moon.
I know that one of the most famous tool cabinets in the world, H. O. Studley’s tool cabinet has a Stanley No 1 plane in it. His plane is in the middle left of the left hand door. Studley was a piano maker so he probably used his plane when making and fitting piano keys. I also know that instrument makers use small planes in their work so that’s another group of people that could benefit from a Stanley No 1 plane.
All I know is that it’s a nice little plane to own. It’s not the most versatile plane you can have in your arsenal, but it’s nice to have it when you need it. So do I recommend using a Stanley No 1 plane? HELL NO! They’re too valuable! Buy a Lie-Nielsen No 1 for a couple hundred bucks and let a tool collector stick this thing on his shelf.
I’ve had this blog for almost nine years and I’ve never bothered to show you my shop. I really don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I don’t think it’s all that special but below is a short video I posted to Instagram the other day.
I’ve had this shop for the past seventeen years when I bought the house in 2002. Before that, I had a shop in my parent’s basement when I started working with wood when I was a kid. Back then, I had a bunch of bench top power tools. Almost all of those tools have been upgraded. The only power tools that remains from the shop in my parent’s house are the band saw, jointer, and drum sander.
The king of the shop is my tool cabinet which I finished building in 2001. The inside has changed a lot over the years as I added to my tool collection. I doubt it’ll ever be finished as I’m constantly buying new tools to put in it and selling the tools I don’t use that much. It sits behind my workbench for easy access. The majority of the tools in the cabinet are antiques that I restored but I do have some brand new tools in there like a Lie Nielsen dovetail saw and a Veritas shoulder plane.
The workhorse of the shop is my Roubo workbench. Made from southern yellow pine, I based it off Chris Schwarz’s Roubo and Roy Underhill’s Roubo workbench. I use the hell out of it so it’s dirty. I never get any visitors to my shop so I don’t care that it’s not made from hard maple and looks perfectly new. I just use it.
At the end of the bench is my Emmert Turtleback Patternmakers Vise. I LOVE this vise. I bought it 20 years ago at an antique tool auction for about $500. It’s worth every penny. This vise gives me plenty of flexibility when clamping work pieces in it as it swivels 360 degrees and swings up. If you ever have a chance to buy one of these vises, do it! You won’t regret it.
In the middle of the shop is my SawStop table saw. I have no complaints about the saw. I tripped it three times. Twice was from the blade hitting my aluminum miter gauge. The third time it was the tip of my thumb. I was ripping thin strips of wood and every time I ripped the stock to make a strip, my left hand got closer to the blade. Like a dumb ass I didn’t notice the position of my thumb until it was too late. Luckily, it tripped and the tip of my thumb was spared. I sent the tripped cartridge back to SawStop and they sent me a free replacement. My thumb just needed a band-aid.
Another nice vise I own is a blacksmith vise. Because I do a lot of antique tool restorations, this thing comes in handy whenever I have to do some metalwork. It’s another one of those tool you don’t realize how nice it is to own until you use it.
On one side of my shop are my power tools. I’ve owned them for years with the Delta jointer going back to when I was a kid. I souped up my Delta band saw with a 6″ riser block and a 1 hp Baldor motor. My 15″ Powermatic planer is one of the best tools I ever bought.
In the corner of my shop is my lumber rack. I buy lumber when I need it so the majority of the boards on the rack are scrap wood. I have one or two boards of certain species but not enough to build a piece of furniture. I simply don’t have the money or the room to stock up on lumber.
One of my favorite power tools I own is my Jet oscillating edge sander. I wanted one of these for years until I pulled the trigger a couple of years ago. I love this machine as I use it on nearly everything I build. For years I used a home made disc sander jig attached to my lathe. My only regret about this sander is not buying it when I first wanted it.
All in all, I’m happy with my shop, I just wish it wasn’t in my basement. I’d love to own nicer power tools like a 12″ jointer or a heavy duty lathe, but there’s no way I could get them down basement steps. Or more importantly, get them back up when I move.