Day two of hand plane making with Jeff Miller

I started day two with the plane needing shaping and squaring up, I thought.
After laying the basic shape out on the plane I went over to the bandsaw and roughed it out.
The shaping of the plane took some time. Jeff let me use his spoke shaves which really speed up the process. After I felt it was close to the shape I was going for, I decided to put the blade and chip breaker in and try it out. At this time Jeff and I noticed that there was an 1/8″ gap in the mouth.
Jeff suggested we rout a small section out and make a patch for that area to tighten up the mouth.
We used his multi-router for this and it worked great. We made a piece to fit in the area and glued it in. After the glue dried, Jeff went back to the multi-router and flushed it up. After a little sanding of the bottom, I put the blade back in and a few taps to get the blade set, it made a swoosh sound and paper thin shaving. It was a success!

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Day one of hand plane making with Jeff Miller

Today was day one on making a wooden hand plane with Jeff Miller. I had signed up for the class a few months ago, but had to cancel because of some personal issues going on at the time. Jeff was very understanding and had no problem with me rescheduleing. We had decided to reschedule for some time in August, but made it for September 8th weekend. I show up for the class this morning and find out I’m the only student, it’s like a private lesson. Jeff discussed the steps on how the plane was going to be made and worked closely to follow me through the first day. He also helped me with some hand tool techniques. This clas has been a blast and can’t wait till tomorrow.
Jeff’s hand plane is the one in front and mine is the one in back.
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Hand Tools with Jeff Miller

The past two Saturdays I’ve taken classes with Jeff Miller in his shop in the city. The classes covered hand tools, the first class covered how to sharpen planes and chisels and how to maintain and care for them.
We learned the benefits of having the backs of the irons and chisel dead flat. We also learned the importance of a micro bevel on the front of the blade.
In the second class we had to preform a number tasks with hand planes, chisels, spokeshaves, and scrapers.
With the chisels we had to square up a round hole. Then chisel a square hole to fit a plug in it with the plug fit in the hole use the chisel to taper the top of the plug on four sides. Then we had to true up a dado with a chisel and have the walls straight and square.
Then came the hand planes, we had to square up a board, plane the side of the board while it is placed on its edge and not clamped down. Then we had to plane curved boards and angled stepped boards. The last step was to flatten a glued up panel and scrap it to a finish.
I feel I’ve came out of the two classes with much more understanding on hand tools, now I just have to practice them a lot to be able to perfect what I’ve learned.

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The Awaited Table saw

From the first time I saw the Powermatic 66 table saw I was drawn to it by its massive stout cabinet, as I walked up closer, the mirror finished blanchard ground top, the silky smooth height and angle crank adjustments and then the topper, the big massive trunnion. That’s when the hunt begin, I knew one day, I would find one for sale. Ten years later I found one not to far away and not only in good condition, but brand new never opened and still in the crate. The guy I bought it from, bought a truck load of them when Powermatic sold out to Jet, and then sat on them for 12 yrs. He had them all in a climate controlled warehouse. I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.

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Cutting Boards

This morning I got down into the shop early. I needed to get a good amount of work done on the projects I’m working on, some cutting boards. A couple regular cutting boards and a couple end grain style cutting boards. Everything was going good, until the final glue up.
Both cutting boards bowed to the point I had to resurface them with a router to flatten them out.
I had to build a jig to make all this happen, so off to big box stores, but they didn’t have the 4mm screws I needed. They had something that I could make work but not what I was looking for.
Then I thought what about the hardware store in the ghetto? Low and behold they had what I needed and more. Now I know where to go for screws in the future. All this running around put a damper on my day.
I got home and started on my router jig to mill the boards flat. I spent about a half hour on this jig and finished it up. I started on the first board and got some major tear out on the board so I decided to belt sand them to get them flat. Spent two more hours and not any better, still bowed. So back to the router jig, but this time I put a backer board up against the cutting board end to prevent tear out, and it worked.
Only if I would have thought of that earlier it could have saved me a lot of wasted time. But when I think about it, it’s not wasted time if I have learned something.

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My Jounery Back Into Woodworking

Last Project Built

There was a time in the past I was involved in woodworking to the point I lived to get in my basement workshop. When the time came for my first big tool purchase, I purchased a Delta contractor saw at a lumberyard at a father’s day sale. I used that saw for everything, even used it to straighten boards. Then I slowly started to purchase other tools for my basement shop, joiner, planner, drill press, router, and sander. At this time I felt I had all the tools to build just about anything. I would be in the shop every chance I could, building pieces of furniture or fixtures I had seen in wood magazines. I had built bed side tables, bookcase, entertainment center and other misc. small projects.
At this time I started a new job 16 years ago, which is my current employer. This mold shop was busy, we we’re able to work an unlimited amount of hours a week we wanted. I was putting in 60 plus hours a week, by the weekend I was beat, to tired to do any woodworking, so my interest in the hobby started to die.
Back in 2001 I became very in involved in cycling, I was mountain biking and road riding every weekend and any time in between. I found this sport to be very exciting and stress relieving from the day to day tasks in life.
In 2005 my full-time job started to slow down, manufacturing was shifting to over seas. I found myself to have more free time, started to do more home improvements around the house and started to get that good feeling I use to get when woodworking.
About three to four years ago I joined the local woodworking club, but the local club was just not sparking that interest I once had for the craft. I would go to the club meetings and I felt like an outsider, no one would talk to you, it was more of a place for the old guys to come and get out of the house. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the elderly. I felt I didn’t belong there.
Still having an interest in woodworking, a coworker at the time asked me if I ever heard of the Wood Whisperer. I came home from work that evening and looked it up, I was amazed that there was a younger group of people still interested in this hobby. I would watch one of his videos very night and just browse through his site, I felt good knowing there were younger people still involved in woodworking.
This opened a world that I never knew was out there. I then came to discover Matt’s Basement Workshop, really enjoined his podcasts and their Wood Talk Online. I found a place where woodworking was fun and entertaining. Since then I have joined the Wood Whisperer Guild and discovered a whole new community of talented woodworkers out there, men and women that are so good at woodworking that I’m always learning and in complete awe of the work they put out there along with their will to give a helping hand.

Thank you Marc and Matt for getting me interested in woodworking once again.

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