WoodWorkWeb - Woodworking Community
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(Left: Paul Dalcanale and Colin Knecht, Creators of Woodworkweb)
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- Created on Wednesday, 19 August 2015 21:25
- Hits: 1650
The Circular Saw was invented way back in the early 1920s by a company that later changed it name to Skil. The tool was SO POPULAR that for decades people referred to every circular saw as as "skil saw", which is the same kind of thing that happened with Hoover. The company name became synonymous with what it did. Even today I hear people sometimes calling circular saws "Skil Saws" and if you tell someone you need to do some "hoovering" they know you really mean vacuum cleaning. Funny how that goes ... but I digress. The circular saw is arguably one of the most popular power tools on the planet. The only thing that might bump it would be the power drill.
Sadly, circular saws have created a TONS of injuries over the years and thanks to a number of people who have looked at these injuries and come up with good ways to help prevent them in the future, we now have a pretty good guidelines on circular saw safety. I am happy to report that these guidelines and best practices are being taught to our carpenter and woodworking students in trade schools and colleges and we know what they are learning is working because we can monitor the positive results.
Many, many years ago the first blades I ever used on circular saws were old hardened steel blades and they didn't stay sharp very long. You had lots of choices back then too, you get a blade with 20 or 24 teeth depending on what manufacturer you wanted to purchase from. The good news was that you got pretty good a sharpening your own blades with rusty old file ...
- Created on Friday, 07 August 2015 03:22
- Hits: 2224
There is a reason that the image of a hand plane is on so many business cards for woodworkers and business that do woodworking. The hand plane has become a symbol of woodworking and is recognized around the world as such. For me, moving them to a wall mount rack wasn't about the woodworkers spirit moving me to do so, it was all about freeing up more room in my woodworking cabinet.
For some reason I seem to have accumulated a few more tools over the past few years and finding a place to put them is at a premium. Storing hand planes on their side, in a drawer is fine, if you don't need the room for other things ... which I did. I felt the only reasonable alternative would be move them out of the drawer where they really were taking up much more space than needed, and moving them on to a wall rack would make good sense.
This was not a complex build but because you everyone has different planes and different numbers of them it's pretty hard to work from plans. And so, another "build it on the fly" project began ...
- Created on Sunday, 26 July 2015 23:17
- Hits: 1805
Kids always seem to get such great use out of their toys and furniture. For that reason alone it's rewarding to build things for them, and that's exactly what Graham did ... while I stood around and watched and held a few boards. Actually, it was kind of nice to be an observer for a change and let someone else do the building. Lucky for me Graham has build a few of these in the past so not only did he know exactly what he was doing, he had a few tricks along the way to share with us too, which could make our builds quicker and better.
Graham started off with a number of red cedar, 2" x 4" and 2" x 6" boards of varying lengths. Because the plan for this picnic table called for use of pre-cut boards, all Graham had to do was to cut the boards to their correct lengths and he rounded over all the boards to help eliminate any chances of getting slivers from the wood.
The build was fairly straight forward when you understand that in this case Graham wanted to hide all the joinery underneath the table for a couple of reasons, first it makes it nice to look at, but secondly it helps to keep the weather from the screws and bolts, which in term helps to reduce the incidence of rusting, which will still happen, just not as quickly.
- Created on Thursday, 23 July 2015 21:47
- Hits: 1343
I don't know if anyone really knows when the first chisel was invented but it has it's roots in simple stone-age tools. A chisel is really just a modified knife designed for a variety of both light and heavy duty jobs. The largest chisels are those used in timber framing and log house construction and can have very wide blades. Woodworking chisel blades generally vary between 1" and 1/4" wide blades, but their are wider and narrower for specialized jobs.
There are many different kinds of wood chisels but they basically fall into 2 main groups, bevel sided chisels and flat sided chisels. Currently the bevel sided chisels are easily the most popular because of their ability to get into areas that most flat sided chisel just cannot reach. Because of the design of beveled chisels, some people suggest they are easier to bend when prying that will flat sided chisels. This may be the case, but often bend chisel blades are created because the chisel is being used for something other than what it was designed for.
Many flat sided wood chisels are also called mortise chisels as that is what they were designed to do. These chisels come in a variety of widths and shapes, and by themselves, a woodworker can cut out a quality mortise in a few minutes, using no other tools than the mortise chisel and a mallet. With today's wealth of power tools there are many other different ways of making moritises, but in the days before power tools, the mortise chisel was the main tool for this.
- Created on Tuesday, 21 July 2015 17:59
- Hits: 1732
All woodworking tools need to be kept razor sharp. It really does make a difference. Not only is woodworking easier when cutting tools are sharp, the outcomes are better with less tear-out, less fuzzy edges and sharper cleaner cuts. All of which often means less sanding (at least for some things).
I have always found chisels to be the one tool in the shop that you can instantly tell if they are sharp or not, just by how they work. If you are a carver, you will really know the meaning of sharp tools because to carvers, trying to work with tools that are dull is exceedingly frustrating. I know carvers, and woodturners as always sharpening their chisels. They very quickly get to know the condition of the sharpness of their tools and are constantly "tuning them up" which really means adding the fine razor edge sharpness to what many of us would consider a sharp tool.
There are a few different methods, jigs and tools for sharpening, either by hand or with some sort of a machine. One of the sharpening machines is called a Tormek Grinder and is produced by a Swedish Company.
The Tormek Grinder development started around 1973, but long before that, around the world, large grinding machines were quite common. Often the wheels were 24" in diameter and were driven by a foot pedal or a crank, and some of them even had water cooling troughs attached to them. What Tormek did was bring this old concept and adapt it to more modern electric motors and make an amazingly accurate and efficient sharpening tool.