Friday, March 9, 2012

Nothing But . . .

Those last few posts might have given you the impression that the sawmaking had been on hiatus, but I posed a few of the latest projects here for proof-positive that I'm still at it.  I have a fresh batch of dovetail saw backs with the new stamp folded up and I started roughing out a few more handles.  The sash saw towards the center is nearly done, the handle pattern is a little later than the other styles I have been working with but I really like how it feels in the hand.  All of these saws are without screws, so I'll have to whip up some of those soon.  Here are three new handle patterns that I have tried.

This one has a 12" blade that I filed crosscut, 13tpi. 
I've been interested to try a dovetail saw like the one in Duncan Phyfe's tool chest, the handle is set at a pretty high angle which gives it a different feel.  I am really looking forward to playing with this one once I get another batch of screws done.
This is a really early style which doesn't seem to have the panache of the styles that followed, but it does look good in the hand (assuming you saw properly and get that index finger pointed out in front).

So there you have it.  I'm not indulging my diversions enough to make the saws take a backseat.  While I have taken a little time to play with making other tools, I am still making plenty of time to try new handle styles and having nothing but fun in the process.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Another Preview

Sometimes I think I'm like a dog chasing cars.  I look at tools and start thinking of how I would make it.  Consequently, I get side tracked often, but the results are usually pretty cool.  My latest detour has been infill planes because, honestly, it would be a shame to have the resources I have, and not give it a go.  What I have so far is a half finished shoulder plane out of mild steel.  I see no need, given what I have, to use any sort of tool steel for the body (especially on a first attempt).  I know a lot of modern makers like to use it, but I wonder about the choice.  Hopefully some day I'll find the time to experiment and see for myself what the pros and cons are to these choices. 
Most of the metal work is done, the mouth probably needs a bit more work, but I won't know until I get a blade worked up.  Below are some pictures from the peening process.  That part taught me that I need to make another hammer, something similar to a filecutter's hammer.  I was using a 2 lb cross peen hammer and a ball nosed punch, but I was choked way up on the handle, gripping it right under the head with fore finger and thumb.  Oh well, a project for another day, I shouldn't get detoured when I'm already on a detour . . .

My other side-track, though this one is strictly and after-hours project, is an adjustable match plane by Geo Burnham Jr.  This was a cheap antique store plane -no blade, no wedge, no handle, one screw arm broken and the other badly warped.  I grabbed this guy because of the challenges that will come with it, and I don't feel that I'm compromising too much historical integrity on a plane that is so busted up.

It was a nice plane once, the turnings are all well done (the first thing I did was clean up the nuts and get some oil on them because I love how polished boxwood can look).  The most rewarding part so far was cleaning up the jam nuts and seeing that they were individually marked "No 1 and No 2" in pencil.
I am sitting on a large pile of boxwood, thanks to my uncle who had some growing on his farm in Virginia, but I'd rather try to rehab the originals screw arms than replace them, glutton for punishment . . .  I'll have to email that magician of hydro-manipulation Ed Wright and see what can be done for the bent arm.
This will definitely be the most challenging plane restoration I have done, but the reward will be a finished plane which will then tempt me to make its partner. 
I promise the next post will be nothing but saws.  Nothing but.