Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Earning their Keep

Nice to have 'em when you need 'em

This morning while working on a rabbet and dado joint cut using power tools, I discovered the fit to be a little too tight. It would have taken me hours to re-set my Table saw and start to fine tune this fit; instead I reached for a few Special Purpose Hand Planes. I don't use these tools everyday but when you need them, there isn't anything better.
So I'm at the beginning stages of a Platform Bed project using 4/4 Walnut. It's a basic box with solid frame and rails. I wanted to make the side platform rails a permanent fixture so I cut a rabbet and dado along the underside of the stock. I then cut a groove into the top of the 3/4" Walnut plywood that makes up the underside box section of the bed. I used my Table saw with a stacked Dado blade attachment for both operations making sure to set up feather boards on top of the cut and along the length as well to insure a tight fit. The solid stock over it's length had a slight twist which made the entire process a little harder than it should have been. The result; a joinery fit that turned out to be much too tight. I could have set up the table saw to re-run the same procedure making sure to take shallow cuts until everything fit as it should. The problem with this is that to re-set the saw, do some test runs and then finally attempt to peel off a sliver at a time from the joint,would turn into hours of prep for something that may not work. I quickly realised this was the perfect time to do some fine tuning with hand tools.
My two Lie-Nielson side rabbet planes were the perfect tool for widening the dado walls ever so slightly. What took me 5 minutes with these hand tools would have taken an hour on the table saw. I followed with my small Router Plane manufactured by VERITAS here in Canada. It was the perfect tool to ride down the edge of the stock, cleaning up the depth of the cut. A quick and easy hand tool fix for a joinery problem from a power tool. Nice!
I don't reach for these tools everyday but when you need them, they're sure nice to have around.

Tool Chest Update

Just wanted to say that the new Tool Chest I built two weeks ago has been performing everything I had hoped for. A great way to transport my essential tools to a work site it's actually been on the road for two weeks now with me. I thought out a few minor design changes and will add them to the next one. Stay tuned...

No comments:

Post a Comment