Archive for the 'Hardware' Category

Feb 16 2011

The Bench End Planing Stop

We’ve had some requests for more information about our new ‘Bench End Planing Stop’, because it works a bit differently than what woodworkers are accustomed to.

bench_end_planing_stop_med1_450.jpg

Our new Planing Stop is the jointer planes helper, engineered to be a complete planing stop, meant to be easy to set up and use. When you wanna plane, you wanna plane! When you are done planing, simply lower the screws and it’s flush to the bench top. Always ready.

Why would we want to use a planing stop?

The main reason to use a stop when planing is that it offers no cramp to the board. By cramp, I mean clamping the uncorrected board so that some of the wind and twist may become compressed. When you clamp a board that isn’t flat before you attempt to true it, you can flex the wood fibers against a natural wind and actually plane more problems into it than out. Continue Reading »

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Oct 22 2010

The Craftsmanship of Dick Proenneke

Several years back, PBS, Public Broadcasting, began showing a few videos that have been produced about the life of Richard L “Dick” Proenneke. (1916-2003) The titles of these videos are: “Alone in the Wilderness”, “Alaska, Silence and Solitude”, and “The Frozen North”. Most people who have seen any of these, have more than likely seen Alone in the Wilderness. This video is of footage shot mostly by Dick himself, with his 16 mm Bolex camera, and the narration is writings from his journals in the book, “One Man’s Wilderness”.

proenneke1.jpgRichard L. Proenneke Photo

For most of us, this was our introduction to Dick, and his life. It is one of the only films ever made that shows the process of making a cabin in the wilderness, using only hand tools. It is a real gift.

Dick was a man whose life took him to a lot of places and exposed him to a lot of things, and those things may have been instrumental in helping shape his abilities for life in the wilderness. Born and raised in Iowa, he joined the US Navy and was a Navy carpenter, a rancher, diesel mechanic and heavy equipment operator.

He originally went to Alaska to start a cattle ranch, and wound up commercial salmon fishing and working as a mechanic. He spent the final years of his working career in and around Kodiak Alaska at the naval base there, until a work accident nearly cost him his eyesight. His life in the ranching business probably helped him understand nature and wildlife on an intuitive level, and his life as a carpenter and mechanic probably prepared him with the self-sufficiency needed for the next phase of his life. He retired at age 51 to Twin Lakes, living as a naturalist, nature cinematographer, and scientific observer in the remote Alaska wilderness. Continue Reading »

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Mar 23 2008

Using Cross Dowels for Knockdown Joinery

The big thing about using steel cross dowels for knock down construction is that your layout must be absolutely meticulous. I have, and continue to use these a lot in jig construction, but there are a lot of other great applications. cross_dowels.jpg

While a lot can be done with these, a common application is for use in workbench base construction. Real life happens. People move, circumstances change. Sometimes the dream shop in the basement relocates to a garage or an outbuilding. Many of us cannot build a bench with the certainty of knowing it will never need to be easily transported to elsewhere at some future point. This makes the use of steel or brass cross dowels a wonderful option. Continue Reading »

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