Archive for the 'Hand Tools' Category

Nov 23 2009

The Case for Long Grain Shooting Boards

Shooting boards are very handy for fine trims that clean the rough sawn edges left by saws, power tools and shop machines, so the wood is looking it’s very best, and even made as accurate fitting as can be. But even as we do this most commonly on end grain, end grain is not the only place on a board that can benefit from the use of a shooting board.

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There are a number of things a woodworker can classify as delicate work. It can of course mean short in length or width, thin stock, veneer, inlays, book matched pieces, and even working with tone woods. Luthiers commonly join book matched boards for stringed instruments, and these boards are very fragile.

There are also the occasions where using a power tool or a shop machine may not be the safest way, or the most accurate way to accomplish a task and so we are left trying to come up with an alternative method for accomplishing the fine work we need done. Continue Reading »

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May 12 2009

Shooting Boards and they’re Red Hot!

Shooting Boards and they’re red hot, yes we’ve got em’ for sale!
Thanks belongs to the early bluesman, Robert Johnson, for inspiration on the blog title here.

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Here’s a photo of a pair to draw to. The shooting boards, shown here in left and right-handed models. You could almost call them V-Twins, but darn it, somebody already thought of that…

Back in late March 2009, I revealed I was going into the woodworking tool business, offering high accuracy shooting boards with calibratable fences, which can be fixtured from 2-7 positions depending on the model. Woodworkers found this very interesting! I want to take a moment to say thank you to all who have purchased one. It has been a warm and well-received response from the woodworking community.

We continue making shooting boards and now offer about twelve different models as well as many other tools in our product line. Additionally, we have created a number of accessories for our shooting boards, making them the most accurate, well-rounded and capable shooting boards available anywhere.

Click Here for detailed Features and Specifications.

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Left-handed shooting boards are available in every shooting board model we offer and have been since day one. All our accessories work with left hand models, and when Lie-Neilsen makes the LN-51 available as a left hand shooting board plane, we are ready to offer that option as well! Continue Reading »

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Mar 29 2009

Introducing a Shooting Board from Evenfall Studios.

One of the coolest things about hand planes is the finish they leave behind. We have all seen the finish quality they are capable of free hand, but when you put hand planes on jigs, a door is opened and passed through where clean, straight, and angular accuracy becomes something that is hard to obtain in any other simple way.

Yes, I am talking about shooting boards.

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Whether you are hybrid with machines and hand tools or hand tools only, shooting boards are one of the gateways to fine woodworking. Sure there are many gateways, but the shooting board in its different configurations provides the cleanest edge and end grain cuts to the finest accuracies, the most spectacular fit and finish, and it puts this capability in the hands of any woodworker.

I have always enjoyed making and using woodworking jigs, and have made a number of shooting boards over the years. I have thought about many different designs for a long time. Most often, the average basic shooting board is a single function tool that becomes inaccurate with wood movement.

I’d have one that did this, but not that, and wish I had one that did something else, but that soon became a stack of inaccurate single function shooting boards, and most of us don’t have the space for that. It’s true; there are some very specific types that are meant to cover specific uses. Others are great for general work, but the worry over wood movement and long-term accuracy causes some folks to question how much energy to put into the making of their own.

I decided to design a line of shooting boards that truly are precision tools, using a main design that encompasses the many qualities that I felt most woodworkers would most desire and need in a shooting board. Reinforcing as many strengths as I could and using only the best materials while diminishing the weaknesses where possible. Offering them affordably to woodworkers who are interested in shooting boards that can each cover a lot of fine woodworking situations with very high accuracy, yet may not want to build one of their own.

While we do offer quite a few different models, they are all very capable and accurate. They run from mindful of tool budgets to full on capable while addressing the woodworking needs and various planes available to the woodworker. To purchase one of our Shooting Boards, just click the “Store” button in the top menu above. Continue Reading »

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Feb 15 2009

Reducing Tear Out when Wood Planing… By Hand!

Published by under Hand Tools,Planing,Wood

I know it seems like an odd name to call the process, but it is based in science, and what happens to wood while being worked isn’t really any different when you are going slow with hand tools.

Planing woods is a process that has a number of considerations, which require their needs met all at once, in order for the process to be successful. It isn’t just one thing happening at a time. There are causes, effects and recognizing which you have. The answer isn’t simple until we understand all the usual suspects involved.

If you haven’t already, read chapter 9 of Understanding Wood By R. Bruce Hoadley. It is a real good primer about how wood reacts to planing and machining to brush up on. Overall, the book will improve your skills as a woodworker. It is available in many places, and both Taunton Press as well as Amazon.com are good sources.

Wood reacts to machining in observably repeatable ways. If we understand these ways and learn to recognize the conditions, our own success in working wood is repeatable as well.
Continue Reading »

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Apr 22 2008

Edge Tool Sharpness and Flatness, The Fast Track.

…Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Honing. 😀

Ok, this is a little longish, but there is no substantial way to provide a sharpening primer in a sound bite. I’ve tried to write about what will work well overall, without getting too focused on too many particulars in any sharpening media. No matter which way you choose to go ahead with sharpening, this advice should be helpful to you overall. It’s a reasonable primer that will put you on the road with usable sharpening skills. So grab a snack and a drink, and settle in for a bit. If you really want to learn to sharpen, reading this will likely be worth your time. Your Questions and Comments are invited as always!

When it comes to sharpening, abrasives are abrasives the world around. They may have particular idiosyncrasies you need to pay attention to, but they all abrade metal. Once you choose the abrasives you feel will work best for you, you will establish your own routine for working with them. All paths are means that will lead to a similar end. Waterstones, oilstones, ceramics, particulates, sandpaper, various styles of machine sharpening etc. The steel does not care; the abrasives don’t care either, as long as the grit equivilents of abrasiveness are appropriate to the goal. Sharpness.

For the sake of this discussion, I am referring to the abrasive grits, as they correspond to the grits common to waterstones. I do this simply for the reason that waterstones are very popular, but I am in no way advocating that waterstones are the best abrasive. Most all abrasives will sharpen, and it is up to the end user to investigate the pros and cons of the various abrasives to determine the best paths for themselves. For cross-reference please refer to this cross reference chart to derive the equivilent grit for the media you choose.

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It is important to keep in mind that the goal of sharpness has stages.

Coarse grits are for grinding, heavy material removal, bevel forming, flattening. Initial flattening and bevel angle forming are the biggest jobs and to aid getting the job over with, the coarsest grits should be used to get the bulk of these tasks done.

Fine grits are for honing and polishing. Once you have established bevels and flatness on the backs, you will want to polish it. Removing coarse scratches in steel with finer ones is what creates finer sharpness. Sharpness actually is where the intersection of the two planes formed by the bevel and the back meet. The finer they are polished, the sharper they will be. the act of creating the wire or feather edge happens when the bevel side of the iron or blade is abraded until the dullness has been honed away. This is required to establish a fresh edge on the tool, and can be done with any number of the different honing or grinding grits.

It is up to the sharpener to determine how dull the tool is, and select the coarseness or fineness of abrasive grit needed to restore the edge to sharpness the fastest way. This means, it comes down to how much steel needs to be removed on the bevel side to form the wire, or feather. You must determine the condition of the edge, and the fastest way to restore it. If only a lttle honing is needed to restore the edge, don’t select coarse abrasives when you begin. If a lot of honing is needed, don’t select fine abrasives when you begin, but realize you will have to polish all the way up through the grits to the fine abrasives to restore the sharpness.

It is important to get a feel for the finish your honing equipment will give you as a finish result at each stage of the work. It will aid you to learn to evaluate what is needed, where to start, how long to hone, and when you have reached what was needed. Knowing this simplifies the task and helps you save time. This is experiential– it is learned by using the sharpening tools you have on your edge tools. It is getting to know one another. Call it sharpening intimacy if you will. Continue Reading »

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Mar 10 2008

Tooling up with Hand Tools? The Big List.

Back in early February 2008, an interesting thread was started on Woodnet.net. Bob Feeser, rfeeser to those who may look for his writings, was asked by a friend to ”provide a list of what tools a well-equipped small, machine-free shop might have”. So he consulted some texts he had on hand and “enhanced” it.

Turned out, the list is quite good. On Internet forums, one good turn deserves another, and so the feedback began. …And the list grew. People came up with some great additions for the list. Continue Reading »

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