Saturday, January 7, 2012

Unsung Heroes

Mechanization best serves mediocrity.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Here are following a few unsung heroes in my shop.  Or maybe tools that I use a lot that I'd like to share with others.  Below you see a couple electricians pliers, end cutters and linesman pliers.

 I use the end cutters to drive the pegs in on my Shaker boxes and then I clip them off.  The last time I made up a batch I couldn't find them and used a hammer and then trimmed the peg off with a sheet rock knife.  I explained this to the E.R. doctor as he stitched up my thumb.  A lot safer to just snip off.  The lineman pliers are handy when you need to shorten a screw or nail.  I cut Sheetrock screws with these (Klein's) and the blades are fine.

Here are those pliers or cutters that normally you use to cut trim and small parts.  I don't really find they work all that great for that, but they do work great for trimming wedges for my Windsor chairs.  Much faster and again safer than trimming with a chisel.

Here's a little tea tin of toilet bowl wax that I use to coat screws before driving.  The thing I like about this was is that it is always soft, so it'll stick to the threads.  I've tried paraffin and I never found it worked that well.

Here is a clamp I use all the time.  I started using these when I used to weld and realized immediately how handy they are.  One really nice feature is they don't shift parts when you clamp them.  I welded a couple big washers on and they work great.  I must have at least a dozen of these. 

 I've shown this before but I sharpen my two turning gouges with this jig.  Works great and very fast.

Every wood worker should have this is for no other reason than to sharpen kitchen knives.  A happy wife makes everything else easier.  And you can sharpen knives scary sharp in about 30 seconds.  And you can sharpen scorps, drawknives, the list goes on.

Here's a Work Sharp disc sander.  I like mine and use it for chisels and block plane blades, stuff like that.  I don't think it gets a blade as sharp as water stones, but, but I do think it gets chisels and the like sharp enough.  And because  it is so fast and easy, I tend to sharpen more, so in the end I end up using sharper tools.  Circular logic, hope that makes sense.  The marker on top is another unsung tool.  If you can't see what you are doing, then how do you know what you are doing?  Keep one handy and you'll see.

Here's a little mallet that packs a big punch.  It's a piece of 3/4" pipe threaded into a 3/4" to 1 1/4" bell reducer.  I was working as a kiln consultant at a sawmill and a guy in the machine shop turned it down for me and I filled the handle with a wood dowel and the head with lead shot.  I really like this mallet because it packs a punch but allows you to see what you are doing because it's so small.  You can buy these but they are way spendy.  This ones cost, well, nothing. 

 Here you can see the lead shot.  Just fill it up, tape off the bottom of the handle and pour in the epoxy. 

Here's an old fold out rule that was my grandfather's.  He didn't work much wood as he was a potato farmer but he did have this rule and now it's mine.  And I do use it.  Below the tape you can see a couple ink pencils that work great on green wood.  The top one is from Lee Valley and the trick with this one is to sharpen it with a knife, not a sharpener.  The sharpener leave too fine a lead that breaks off.  Use a knife ( I use a drawknife) and keep the tip blunt, and it works just fine.  Below is the Sanford Inkblot pencil and unfortunately it's no longer made.  I have a bunch of these, wish I had more though.  Be careful if you're like me and keep a pencil in your mouth.  The ink will mark your teeth, which looks really smart, especially when you don't know it's there.  Ask me how I know that.

Couple more---a saddle square from Veritas.  I use this all the time, all the time. 

I use these all the time too to set up machines and blade heights, stuff like that.  I see router lifts and fences that read in thousandths, but honestly these are I all I use.  Again, all the time. 

Last but not least, Forrest, the mascot...looks like he's trying to get ink off his teeth.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, Terry!

    First of all, you're using all the great quotes that I want to use for my blog, and second I love the heroes of your shop! You make a good point about using the circular sharpener, if it is easy to sharpen then you sharpen more often! I'm about ready to chuck my water stones, I miss being able to pull out an oil stone, give the chisel/knife/plane iron a few licks and then back to work.