Thursday, April 16, 2009

More on Shop Made Tools

From the Unplugged Woodshop

In my last post I featured the new Large Spokeshave from Veritas tools here in Canada. The fact that I had an idea for a tool very similar in design to this makes me pleased that a company like Veritas is now manufacturing it. It's on my short list of tools to buy. Thinking on this shop made tool line I decided to look back through my shop notebooks over the past two years and found about a dozen different design ideas I've come up with. Nothing in there that'll solve Global Warming; who am I kidding, it wouldn't even draw a parade of rats behind me! Oh well...what is in there are some pretty cool ideas for some work shop aids and bench top appliances. A couple of neat new tool ideas and a few more new designs. I tend to write allot while I'm still waking up at 4:30 a.m. when I usually start my day, so I can sometimes forget what the hell I wrote from one day to the next! Things get forgotten about and later found and fresh again. That said, it'll be interesting to follow through on some of these ideas and build myself some prototypes. I'll keep you posted when I get around to it...put it on the 'long-list' so to speak.
Making tools is a ton of fun and it really helps you understand the angles, bevels and reasons why some planes can chatter and others can run on so smoothly. Why one saw cuts and the other tears. What makes a mallet feel good in your hand? One of the first tools I made in recent years was the Lee Valley spokeshave kit; a Christmas gift from my wife it really covered allot of good workshop techniques. From dimensioning wood to super accurate lay-out. Understanding angles and final shaping and finishing. From there I made a couple of hand planes and some sanding planes,
(readers of Fine Woodworking magazine may remember my Tip of the Month a few issues ago-the sanding planes pictured above.) a mallet and hammer and a little bow-saw my father in law cracked in half last year while limbing an old apple tree! My point is this: Try out new things in your shop whenever you can and time permits. Making your own tools and workshop aids is a great learning exercise for any woodworker at any level.
Try the link on the side bar for
you'll find lots of tool making inspiration there.
Another wealth of tool making information is:

Speaking of tool making and workshop appliances, due to all of the feedback, traffic and e-mails I get about wooden tool boxes, I'm going to offer a few for sale. I'll probably only have time to build six or'll be first come first serve. In my next blog I'll feature some of the design elements and show some of the tool chests unique features.
A Cabinetmakers Toolchest.

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