14 July 2016

I think I have nearly all the tools I need for a lifetime of use

I think I’m nearly done with the tools I need (and want).  I did start off carefully and slowly buying the initial tools.  For about the first 4 months I had a truly minimal set.  Then, over the next 4 months or so, I flushed out the collection via eBay mostly.  I’m sure I could come up with more wants and needs but I don’t really have much desire.  At this point, I don’t feel that I am really lacking when it comes to making.  Mostly I want to save my money to buy wood to make stuff and to take training classes.  Below is what I still want to get and what I have.  Do you see any large gaps?  By the way, books don’t count.  I like books and I can easily see buying 20 or 30 wood books over the next couple of years.
What about power tools?  Well, for now I will hold off.  It's mostly a 3 to 5 micron wood dust thing that concerns me (probably will expand on at some point).  If I do get some power tools, I will first want a really good effective dust extraction system.  In terms of tools, I will most likely to with a ShopSmith Mark VII.  What I really like about it is that it doesn't take up too much space.  I have real issues with things take up lots of space.  I have the space mind you, I just hate filling it up.



Here's what is left on list of wants

  • Scrub plan (I do want to work from rough lumber)
  • Lie Nielsen dowel maker
  • Lie Nielsen tongue and groove all in one tool (have many book shelves to build and want to make it easy to construct the backs)
  • Sterling tool works robu curves
  • Saw tooth setter
  • A few more clamps (I only have four).
  • Miter saw and miter box


Here's what I have

  • 6” and 12” engineering squares
  • Sliding bevel “square”
  • Ruler
  • Tape measure
  • Marking knife
  • Two marking gauges
  • Dovetail marking guide
  • Compass
  • Dividers



  • ¼”, ½”, ¾”, 1” bevel edge
  • ¼” and ½” mortise chisels
  • Number 8 straight gouge about 1&1/4”


  • No 4
  • No 4&1/2 (yes redundant and I would not own both again)
  • No 8
  • Large router
  • Small router
  • Plough plane and a beading bit
  • Spoke shave (two; again, made a mistake and really only need one)
  • Draw knife


Other stuff

  • Workbench
  • Hand drill and bits
  • 6” brace drill and bits
  • Scraper (that 3x5 ish piece of metal)
  • Dovetail saw
  • Tennon saw
  • Coping saw
  • Generic new saw that can’t be resharpened
  • Old Diston saw from back of my dad’s truck that needs to be restored
  • Diamond sharpening stones
  • Leather strop
  • Mallet
  • Square awl
  • Gauge to determine an angle
  • Screwdrivers
  • Safety glasses and ear plugs









08 July 2016

You spin my right round .... Seller's style wall clock roundovers

Before I get to fixing the panel length (and possibly width), I decided to do the round overs on the top and bottom piece.  It looked easy watching Paul Sellers do it but then again, everything he does looks easy.  So, I tried it.  It was easy.  Now, they aren't quite uniform in how they are rounded over but I'm still quite happy with it for my first attempt.  Also, besides me (and my dad), I suspect most folks won't be looking that carefully.

There will be a clock number two (and possibly a number three at some point as well).  Doing these builds several times over allows me see if I can do each successive item a bit better.  Also, I know the joints on the clock will help me for making cabinet frames and shelves (and I have several things in mind that I want to build in this area).  Case in point are the tool caddy's shown below.  The extras will be used as holiday gifts.  And who doesn't want a nice handcrafted item as a gift.

05 July 2016

Maybe get a little blister on your finger ..... Seller's wall clock continues

I was able to spend a good amount of the time in the garage woodworking this past weekend.  I was able to move on to do the final few steps of wood working.  I cut out the panel and then marked the lines for making a raised panel as well as the location of the clock.  I figured it was better to mark off the clock location now while everything was full sized stock.  This was me trying to apply a lesson from earlier in the clock making.  I had put in the beads before making off the final length and I had some issues scribing my lines when not all was square.  I'm sure it will be something I outgrow.  Till then, I figure it can't hurt to try and mark with full dimensional material when possible.

As for making the raised panel with my hand plane.  It wasn't too bad.  I didn't get crisp clean diagonals (most easy to see in the last photo) where the two directions meet.  Given it's my first time doing this, I was happy.  Also, since I needed to narrow the width on both sides to fit the grooved, rails and stiles, I decided to put a raised panel on each side.  It gave me more practice.

It was a bit harder than I thought it would be to get the panel edges thin enough to fit into the grooves but I was patient.  I apparently made the panel to wide and tall.  I more or less got the width adjusted by planning the same number of strokes on each side so it stay centered.  It was also too tall by about a quarter of an inch.  I will have to measure more carefully (though I thought I had).  I was getting tired at that point so I stopped and will finish getting it to fit at a later day.  When I'm tired I'm more likely to do something wrong.

Prior to discovering the panel fit issue, I cut out the hole for the clock face using my coping saw.  It wasn't that hard to do but getting the coping saw blade reinstalled when I put it through the panel was a bit difficult.  The kind of thing where you need three hands a pet monkey to help you out.  Again, deep breath, be patient and all works out.  After cutting the hole out, I took a rasp to clean the hole so it looks clean and tidy.  Not that anyone would see it.  Just my peace of mind.  Something I was proud of - I didn't have a compass to draw a circle so I needed to buy one.  I went online to see if there was any info on what works well and what doesn't.  If you were to believe the internet, a $100ish Starett compass is what is needed.  I didn't want to spend that much.  At WoodCraft, I bought a $7 compass and it worked just fine for me.  Again, being a newbie, I know some tools are junk and some aren't.  Glad I tried the inexpensive option first.  I also make it a point to tell the wife how I "saved" money but not buying the most expensive option first.  Maybe if I made lots of holes all day and needed tight tolerances, there would be a more suitable tool.  For my needs, I think I am done with getting a compass.

All in all a good day.  A day working in the shop beats a day on the couch.  The next day, my index finger was hurting and I couldn't figure out why.  I had used the plane so much I had a blister forming.  It brought a smile to my face.