Showing posts from March, 2016

I'm Selling My Tool Collection

I have but to look into a tool basket to know the quality of a carpenter. Walter Rose, The Village Carpenter , 1937 For those of you who follow my blog, you have probably noticed posts about tools that I am selling on eBay. Yes, I am selling off most of my tool collection, which I am selling only through eBay. Why am I selling the collection? There was a time when I thought collecting vintage tools was a cool thing. Now I have too many old tools that sit lonely in a nearly forgotten tool chest, those tools need to be used, they need to be on another woodworker's bench. I have all the tools I need to create classical and flamenco guitars, and others to help me build cabinets, tool trays and other things for the shop. It is time to let things go. I am paring down to the essential tools that are needed to complete the task efficiently. So, stay tuned for updates on the vintage tools that I am selling only on eBay. These will be nice tools, I always bought good t

On the Bench: A Santos Hernandez Style Concert Guitar, Black Hills Spruce/African Rosewood

I saw a lot of walking guitars then and I thought how fitting it was that guitars should resemble in so many ways the beautiful women on Andalucia. Manuel Reyes, world famous flamenco guitarrero "Zoraida" is on the bench for the final sanding before I start applying the shellac for French polishing. She is very beautiful, one of four guitars that I will be French polishing over the next 2 months.

I "Upgraded" My Folding Workbench

Remember that a good workbench won't make you a better woodworker, but it sure helps. Scott Landis, The Workbench Book , 1987 My workbench has a vast amount of sentimental value to me. I built it in 1994 from incense cedar (pencil wood) and black (red) oak trees that were on my property, I felled the trees and milled boards from them with an old, old McCulloch chainsaw attached to a Granberg Alaskan mill. I wasn't much of a hand at chopping out mortises or dovetails back then, but I continue to use the bench on a daily basis. The best part about the bench is the incense cedar top, whenever I flatten it the spicy aroma that comes from the wood immediately takes me home to a patch of land in the Sierra Nevada of California. For those of you who are fans of Roy Underhill, you will recognize this bench from his book, The Woodwright's Apprentice , a book every woodworker should own. I made this bench because I was a seasonal park ranger with the National Park Service at

The Real Use for an Auger Bit File

Whereas a chisel can be sharpened for years without noticeably shortening its life, the cutting head of an auger bit has not metal to spare. Bits should therefore be treated with fanatical restraint. Remove the least amount of material to restore the cutting edges. A tapered auger bit file and a slip stone are the tools you need. Aldren A. Watson, Hand Tools: Their Ways and Workings , 1982 The true use of an auger bit file is to clean up binding rabbets on a guitar. It does a crackerjack job, it doesn't remove too much material at a time, it's thin enough to work in the binding pocket where the neck meets the top and I can use it to sharpen my auger bits (I have a separate file just for that task). A very handy little file. Finished bindings on a Western red cedar/Indian rosewood concert guitar. Along with the auger bit file, I also use emery boards to clean rabbets, they are especially useful at the guitar's waist, always a tricky spot to get right. Work