Monday, December 16, 2013

Steamed Rockers

Beauty is whatever gives joy

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Maybe a little persnickety but the gaps when I let in rockers are driving me nuts.  I didn't photo the gap that was there but suffice to say it was unacceptable.  The problem was that that I must have mis-reamed the legs, leaving the routed slots for the rockers non co-planer.  What to do....

I thought long and hard and decided to steam the rockers and let them into their slots and see what happened. I usually deal with gaps with wedges but the gaps were pretty significant and honestly I wondered if steaming would work..

As you can see the results were spot on. Really good contact between the rocker and the routed slots.  All gaps eliminated and the rockers fit perfectly.

Anyway, I'm happy with the results.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Blade

"God, how I ricochet between certainties and doubts"

Sylvia Plath

First off I have to apologize for my lack of substantive posts of late. Just life getting in the way I guess. Lots of personal stuff...waiting for sweet boredom. That'd be nice.

Anyway, enough about me. Above you see my three favorite spokeshaves. The one to the left is a Lee Valley round bottom, the middle one is a Lie-Nielsen, and the right one is a cherry one I built years ago before I even know how to build chairs. Its based on a kit from Daves Shaves as seen in American Woodworker years ago.  The Lie-Nielsen is a beautiful tool and I use it all the time. I'm not super crazy about the iron and will be replacing it come Christmas.
I love L-N tools, don't get me wrong and I have the credit card bills to prove it. I'm just not super crazy about the steel used for the irons. To me its just too hard. I like good old high carbon. Easy to sharpen and given it's small molecular structure it get wicked sharp. Or rather wicked shahhhp.

Which brings me favorite spokeshave. Like I said I built this before I could build chairs. Back when I had a jobby job and all I did was build tools and jigs and such. Ahh the good old days. I don't build jigs or tools anymore. No time for that. Anyway, I built this spokeshave and despite all that is apparently wrong with it it works wonderfully.   The wear plate just ahead of the blade is maple and has a pretty significant groove worn in it from spindle work. If memory serves it had a brass plate but as the blade narrowed I switched it out for maple.

But all good things end. And the blade has been sharpened to the point of uselessness.  So I broke down and bought a new one from Ron Hock, making sure it was high carbon/. Above you can see the original (top) vs the new one. Quite a difference as you can see.

Here's a groove worn in the toe piece. While it opens the mouth, it hasn't proven to be a problem as it registers the spindle during the cut.