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Showing posts from November, 2012

The Earliest Known Joiner Shop in the US is Discovered!

Check out this article!

Click here!

The earliest known joiner and cabinetmaker’s shop on its original site anywhere in the United States was recently discovered in Duxbury, Massachusetts!


12/03/12 update!

Rob from The Offcut emailed me that Peter Follansbee had posted about this workshop earlier this summer. Click here for more information and photos!



Smoothing Planes, Which is Better? The Stanley No. 3 or the Stanley No.4

What, sir rule, said the plane,
Another reason I will thee say;
Tho oft my master have no stock,
Yet thy master thou should not mock;
For yet a means I shall see,
So that my master shall prosperous be.
I shall him help, both day and night.
To get him good with all my might,
I shall cleanse on every side
To help my master in his pride.


Anonymous, 15th century manuscript





Rob Gates, who has a wonderful blog, The Offcut, asked me whether I like the Stanley #3 smoothing plane better than the #4 smoothing plane.


I like both, but I find that I will pick up the #3 more often than I do a #4. Why? Maybe because of the #3 seems to "cleanse" wood easier than a #4. I find it interesting that one of my #3's smooths Indian rosewood better than the other, that could be explained by saying I have that blade and plane tuned up perfectly for such wood, or...?

For the record, the two planes I use most are a #3 and a #7.

And another thing-I discovered that these old vintage planes (pre-WWII…

The Ten String Classic Guitar-My Latest Obsession, Part 5

For me the guitar has always been a beautiful instrument as a medium of expression, and my attachment to it continues to increase with the years.

Alexander Bellow, The Illustrated History of the Guitar, 1970



I am sorry that I haven't posted much this month, it's been hard to make time with my job and dealing with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Today, I finished carving the crest on the peghead of the ten string guitar that I am making. Lots of chisel, file and scraping work to make the final design.



The top veneer needed to be thinned down to 2mm, I sharpened up the blade on my No. 3 smooth plane and put a 10 degree back bevel on it and pushed the chip breaker as close as I could to the edge of the blade.



Nice thin shavings!




In this shot I am in the process of thinning the back of the head piece, I want the final thickness to be 20mm, then I can drill the holes for the tuning machines and cut out the slots.



New Hand Tool Rack

A workbench and vise are the first, last and most important tools without which all others would be only half as useful.

Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings, 1982



Sorry for the bright photos, I didn't have time this afternoon to take any pics, but today was spent re-installing some old shelves to hold planes, etc., and a new tool rack.




Space in my studio is at a premium, my plan is to empty the tool chest and get it off the studio floor, I am tired of walking around it. It was nice to build a shelf box to display my joiner and jack planes!

(Yes, that is a photo of me playing my guitar at a Chris Parkening master class at Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana back in August 1980!)


As much as I love my tool chest, a tool rack gives immediate access to certain hand tools. Another set of shelves will be built and I need to figure out where to put the drawknives and hand saws! This shot shows only half of the chisels that I own and use, I have too many tools! …