Tool Chest by Paul Sellers Part 1

Having collected some hand tools, mainly planes and spokeshaves, I needed a place to put them other than the tool well. Where was I to go, I tried to find one, but the plastic cases at the big box stores had no appeal and just were not practical.  Even my favorite Festool had nothing that appealed unless I could combine a max systainer with a sortainer and it still would not have any style. So left with out a purchasable choice I had what I considered two options:  The Anarchist Tool Chest by Chris Schwarz (a very good book btw and you should pick up a copy here)  and the  Paul Sellers Tool Chest.

I had to rule out the Anarchist Tool Chest due to my shop being on my front porch, I needed something portable.  Not that my neighborhood is full of thieves but I am not leaving a tool chest out there. I’ll save that for a later build when I get some molding planes.

I searched through Paul Sellers WoodWorking Master Class Site and found the tool chest gallery.  A shameless plug for Paul’s site, if you have any interest in hand tool woodworking or woodworking, his site is 15 bucks a month if I remember right and that gives you access to ALL videos and the ability to download the ones since you joined.

So off to Paxton Lumber in Denver to find an appropriate wood.  I checked out Mahogany, $$$ per board foot, not a good first big project wood for me.  Pine, almost went this route since that was used in the Anarchist Chest but I thought it would be too soft and I had worked with a lot of pine already.  So I went with Ash, it was cheaper than Mahogany and more expensive than Pine.

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I sized most of these up with the hand saw.  Actually a Gramercy 14″ sash saw from Tools for Working Wood (my favorite store after Lost Art Press).  I am short a good crosscut saw but the sash saw did fantastic.  The stacks below are ready for ripping.  My hand saw for ripping needs the teeth set so I opted for my bandsaw.  Who am I kidding, even if the teeth were set I would have used my bandsaw.

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All ripped down and ready to go.  I re-sawed a few pieces on my bandsaw for the drawer sides and backs then cleaned them up with my #4 Bailey.  I did thickness plane down the raised panels with my #5 set up as a scrub and cleaned up with the #4. I only used my surface planer for some 1/2″ x 1/2″ strips to hold the drawers and panels.

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Next post, I try dovetails in hardwood.

Hinges, good ones are hard to find

I am making a Paul Sellers Tool Chest and was in need of some hinges for the lid.  Heading down to the local hardware store I found some basic national hinges.  I bring them back home and open them up and they just did not look like they were worthy of the tool chest I have been working on for the past few months.

So onto my favorite tool website https://toolsforworkingwood.com/ where I found Brusso Hinges.  First the warning, Californians are nuts, I have never eaten a brass hinge.WP_20150427_003

Not to knock the national hinge on the left but the Brusso is on the right is a piece of hardware!

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I picked up this hinge as it has integrated stops.  Turns out my top is too heavy for those but they are built so much better than the national’s I kept them.  I enlarged the holes just a bit and countersunk them some more.  Metal likes a single flute countersink, doesn’t jump or make noise.

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Not a great picture to show the gap as the national hinge is closed, if they were parallel its is almost a 1/8″ gap.  This means much more mortising the hinge into the carcase. The Brusso hinge, hardly a gap at all.  They actually publish PDF’s of the specifications on their website.WP_20150427_009

One last photo of these stunning hinges!  My install was ok, but doesn’t match the perfection of the machining. I’ll post a few blog posts on the tool chest when it is all done.

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New Irons for the Record 44 plow plane

I am in the middle of working on a tool chest which I will post later based on some Paul Sellers plans.  Making the drawers required a groove for some 1/4″ plywood.  Of course most of us know 1/4″ plywood is not 1/4″ plywood, its actually thinner. So my plan was to file down a iron for the Record 44 to match up to the plywood.  Didn’t seem right to do that with an original set so I ordered up a new set from Ebay in the UK.  Yep, the UK and they arrived in 7 days!  Pricing was still better than buying them from Veritas (could use in the record 43).

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Turns out I didn’t need to grind one down, I got away with the 3/16 and a little planing of the panel on the edges.  A very nice set of irons for the Record 44 and they fit great!  So now my plow planes are all set.

New muffler for the 1998 Honda Civic EX

It has been sometime since my last post.  Its not that I have become bored of my blog, I actually started a full time contract that is more than full time.  Actually working 60 hours a week has cut into my hobbies, thankfully it is almost over and things should return to normal in another month or so.

Meanwhile the commuter car, the “mighty civic” had a muffler problem.  What started slowly as a slightly loud exhaust eventually turned into something that sounded like a bad lawn mower without a muffler.  I could hear it over the radio in the car.  One day I look under to see the muffler complete separated from pipe coming form the cat and hanging only by the rubber mounts.

What is one to do? Buy a new one and install it yourself of take it to a shop?  I went with the former.  Amazon.com to the rescue, never thought I’d order from amazon but the parts were cheap and an exact fit.  The local places wanted to sell me multiple parts and pieces.  I didn’t want Honda dealer prices, its a muffler, how hard can it be to make.

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The new muffler unwrapped from the bubble wrap.  I transferred the rubber mounts over. Come complete with heat shield.

I ordered a bolt and spring set as well.  When I removed the bolts I broke them both thinking, no bid deal the nuts will fall to the ground.  Nope, that didn’t happen.  Turns out they were welded to the cat pipe.

Plan B, remove whats left of the old bolts with vise grips from the back of the cat pipe flange.  This worked after a bit of penetrating oil.

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The new versus the old.  Notice the springs are flat on the old.  This give that much needed little bit more room to install the bolts.  I used the old springs with the new bolts and all was good.

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Ready with the new crush flange thing, order this separate along with the bolts.

Install was easy once I went with the original springs.  Maybe a c clamp would have helped but I was working on the street with one wheel up on the sidewalk and the wheels chocked.

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All nicely connected.  Much quieter!!

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Looks good.

Three-Legged Stool from Paul Sellers book Working Wood 1 & 2

Next up from the Paul Sellers book, the three legged stool.    Starting with a 8′ long 2×12 of douglas fir I cut out two squares.  One I cut out on the bandsaw, the other with a chisel.  The one on the right in the following photo was with the bandsaw.  It was quick an easy, I could have also used my router with the circle cutting jig, or used a circle cutting jig on the bandsaw.  I see no problems with how its cut out, the end goal is a circular piece of wood.

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Figuring the point of the book was also to try new techniques, I made a second seat.  Chiseling a circle is actually remarkably easy.  The grain was pretty straight so it split of quite nicely.  So if you don’t have a bandsaw, don’t fret a chisel works just fine.

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I did have to be careful as I got very close to my line.

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All done, not so bad, next round I’ll stick closer to the line all the way around  You’ll notice the coping saw in that picture, I did use it to take care of some of the cross grain on the ends, easier than the chisel.

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Marking the seat with pencil to help guide the spokeshave rounding over of the seat.  The first seat I forgot to do the guidelines and my experience with the spokeshave made for ok results.  The guidelines on the second seat made things go much faster and more uniform than without.  The Record 151 Spokeshave made yet another appearance here.

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Both seats ready to go.

Next up was drilling the holes.  I used a brace and bit.  The first seat I used an adjustable sized bit to drill the holes as I did not have a 1″ bit.  The adjustable did not cut cleanly through when I switched sides.  As soon as it broke through it was off center and you are done.  This left me to  have to clean the rest out with a rasp.

So I ordered up some old “vintage”  bits from Ebay, maybe I’ll show them in another post as I am missing the photos but it included a 1 inch bit.  The 1 inch bit worked better than the adjustable as it stayed self centered when drilling from both sides.

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Marking the centers of three legs preparing them to round over.  I ripped these on my wood bandsaw.

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Rounding the legs over with the #4 Bailey plane.  Notice the bar clamp, this one from Tools For Working Wood, made by Dubuque Clamp Works.  Heavier duty than what you can find at harbor freight and super light (cheaper than my steal clamps and way lighter, happy to get them from an American company). As Paul says the bar clamp in the bench vise makes for a great way to work without a tail vise and placed the work up where it is easy to handle. I worked one at a time and test fitted as I went. Be sure to mark which ones go where once you start fitting.

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Three legs fit and ready to assemble.  The ones in this photo still need the bottom of the legs rounded over.

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Ready for slots to be cut for the wedges.  I used Oak on one and Walnut on the other.

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Both stools are complete.  Bandsaw version and the chiseled version.  Spokeshave didn’t care 🙂  It was nice to build them without a lathe as I have not room for one at this time.

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Lightly sanded with my festool sander/vac combo and given two coats of shellac with a light hand sanding  between coats.  These will be shipped of as a gift for friends who just had twins.  Since they are 12 inches tall they should be a perfect fit in a year :).

Working Wood 1&2 Hand Carved Spoons

After making the spatulas from Paul Sellers book I decided to try my hand at making a wooden spoons.   I broke the last wooden spoon I had and figured I could give this a shot and make some new ones with larger handles.  I stopped into Paxton Lumber in Denver and founds some maple cutoffs in the 50c per board foot box. Score!

I had a set of two plastic spoons that I do like that I used for a template.  I would go with bigger handles to make them easier to hold and harder to break.

Tools used:

  • Band Saw (trimming down blanks)
  • Record 151 Flat Bottom Spokeshave
  • Record 151 Round Bottom Spokeshave (optional)
  • Two Cherries Carving Gouge 7/20
  • 180 Sandpaper
  • Record Vise
  • Mallet

First step, trace out the spoons. You can see I fit 5 on this board.  2 small ones and 3 large.

 

 

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Using a Two Cherries 7/20 gouge I started to carve out the spoons.

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I got lots of practice as I had 6 to work on.  Much easier to get it all out of the way while the board clamps solidly in the vise.  I used the smaller spoon as the inside template for the large spoon.  For the two small spoons I just moved the small spoon I was using as a template and retraced it a few times until I had a good 1/4″ boarder.  The gouge laughed at the maple and cut through it without much trouble.  I have not learned how to sharpen the gouge yet, it made it through the spoons without dulling.

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The first 5 spoons carved out ready for the bandsaw to trim them out.  2 blanks that are ready for the spokeshave.

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The other board was extra thick so I made a deeper spoon.

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Roughed out and ready to go.  I did take this one back to the bandsaw to trim the top as maple is hard wood and that is mainly end grain. The large spoon I trimmed the handle as well since this one would be a flat handle unlike the others which are round.

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Let the trimming begin.  Sharpened the Record 151 flat bottomed spokeshave and got to work.  First starting with a thick cut and then fine tuning for the finish work.  Maple is not the softest of woods but this sharp spokeshave made quick work of it.  Grain direction was elusive sometimes, I was changing directions regularly until I figured things out to minimize the tear-out.

I started with the spoon part first, doing one side then the other.  I would occasionally use the round bottom Record 151 spokeshave for the tight curves where the spoon met the handle.  The round bottom was much harder to use but I am starting to get used to it.

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Once all the trimming was done I would finish each spoon off with a scraper to remove any tear-out and spokeshave lines.  Made for a pretty good looking spoon.

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The final set of 6 ready for finish, most likely mineral oil.

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Are they perfect, no.  I could have sanded the ends of the handles on the belt sander for a nice slick round end.  I chose to round them instead with the super sharp spokeshave and leave them uneven.  The Record 151 did quite well on the end grain.  I have seen places recommend a low angle version for end grain.  Maybe down the road I’ll try a low angle spokeshave or get a kit like this one from Tools for Working Wood.  In the mean time,  a very sharp 151 works just fine.

The spoons got better with each one I did.  I did a rough pass and then a fine finish pass to clean things up.  Multiple rounds with the scrapers and putting them in the sun to see marks.  Maple is quite hard and did not make things easy but the results are well worth the work.

I did sharpen 3 times I think throughout the process.  Maybe overkill but I am just getting used to both the tools and the sharpening process.  Each honing took about 3 minutes, just enough to bring em back on the water stones, 1000/4000/8000.  Possibly a strop is in order next time I get to Tandy to bring back the edge a bit without honing.

Wood Spatulas a project from Working Wood 1&2

Paul Sellers has a project on learning how to carve wood.  I cannot say I am a sculptor by any definition but some things can be learned. I started by using a coping saw to cut out the rough shape.  I did this on piece of oak as well but I do not have a picture of that one.   I simply sketched out something that looked like a spatula resembling the shape in Paul’s book.  I cut out the rough shape with a coping saw.  Coping saws work….slowly, I’ll look at more course blade for next time.

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With the rough shape, I had to thin it down a bit.  Now the spokeshave did a great job on the oak.  It made quick work of things.  When it came to the maple, not so quick.  Sharp is key for maple, so I honed up the spokeshave blades and got to it.

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The final Oak version

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Maple, well there was a casualty.  While using the brace and bit to drill the hole I made a mistake.  I felt the bit getting tight, should have have reacted to the wood.  Instead I went a little further and it split.  Well this is supposed to be a learning experience and an hours work knocking down the 3/4″ maple out the window when I went to drill the final hole.  Before and after:

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So round 3 entered the wood bandsaw.  Maple is hard wood to cut much less plane down to spatula thickness.  Since I have that wood bandsaw shown in an earlier post I decided to use it to re-saw the 3/4″ maple giving me stock for 2 spatulas instead of 1.  I also used it to trim close to the lines for less work with the spokeshave.  To the purist hand tool worker out there, I don’t have unlimited time and well its my time so I went down the hard road twice and well enough of that.

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Notice I drilled first this round before I re-sawed so as not to split the maple.

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First one starts to take shape very quickly thanks to the bandsaw doing the worst of the stock removal. I used a Record 151 spokeshave.  I picked it up the flat bottom spokeshave from Jim Bode Tools for a good price, the blade was full and a perfect user.  I also picked up a round bottom, much more difficult to use I noticed but I was able to make it work for the tight curve.

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The final collection all treated with mineral oil.  You can see I did not really use a template, something for next round. Onto spoons!

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