Video 5 – Hand Tool Cabinet Drawers

htc_drawersI finally got around to making the drawers for my hand tool cabinet.  The woods I used to make these is cherry and poplar.  I haven’t yet applied a finish to them as it is currently winter and the shop stays too cold to allow the boiled linseed oil to cure.  I will likely do a follow-up video this spring with my applying the finish as well as adding some pulls to the drawers.  The construction does feature hand cut half blind dovetails.  Enjoy the video!

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Tool Gloat – Veritas MK II Honing Jig

jig_showing_mb_switchThis past Christmas my kids gave me the Veritas MK II Honing Jig.  My first reaction to this is, it rocks!

Years ago I bought an inexpensive honing jig and I never had much luck with it.  I decided to forgo using it as I figured out that I was able to do a better job with free hand sharpening my chisels and plane blades.  The results were okay, but often I felt that the edges were not as sharp as they could be.  I had also noticed that a couple of the bigger chisels had a very slight skew that most likely was introduced by me not holding them down with equal pressure.  I also really had no control over the bevel.  While I worked to maintain the same bevel that was already established.   I like having a micro-bevel on my blades and while it is possible to do this freehand, but it would always be at an inconsistent angle.  Finally, I almost always walked away with my finger tips with very thin cuts, similar to paper cuts.

chisel_insertedThe honing jig from Veritas solves all the above frustrations I had with sharpening free hand.  The jig includes a gauge that sets the distance the blade is exposed so that bevel angle is the same for every blade.  The gauge is adjustable to a variety of angles that are commonly used.  There are two thumb screws that once the blade is lined up are used to tighten the clamp that holds the blade in place.  One thing that needs to be taken care of is that these thumb screws are providing equal pressure so as to not inadvertently introduce skew.  Thank you to Roger T who pointed this out to me before I learned this the hard way!  The jig also provides a switch on it that allows a quick and easy way to put a consistent micro-bevel on every blade.  The wheel on the jig allows for very smooth operation allowing for a very consistent motion for sharpening.  At first glance the jig looks complicated because of all the various adjustments it allows, but once everything is set, it is actually very quick and easy to use.

ready_to_honeAs a first go around with this jig, I sharpened my entire chisel set, 11 in all, ranging from an 1/8″ up to 1 1/2″ wide chisels.  Each one got sharpened at a 1000 grit, 4000 grit, and finally an 8000 grit wet stone.  I got through all 11 chisels fairly quickly.  The edge that was produced is definitely superior to the edge I was creating going freehand.  I will definitely be using this jig for sharpening all my hand tools from here on out!

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Shop Update Jan 2015

2013-04-19 22.45.53_enhancedI hope everyone had a great holiday season, as well as a great New Year!  I am hoping to have a new video and related blog post up in the next week or so.  In the meantime I wanted to get out a quick shop update.

I am finally building the 3 drawers for my hand tool cabinet.  Even though I am hand cutting half blind dovetails (a first for me) I thought this would be a quick project, and a great one for doing a video on.  Overall, the video aspect has been working at well, as I have been editing as I have footage done.  However, I have had a few set backs on this project that has not allowed it to go as quick as i had planned.

Set back #1.  This project sent me to the ER.  I was remaking one of the drawer sides and on one of the last cuts the saw slipped off the work piece and right into my finger.  I was lucky in that all I needed was 5 stitches.  It could have been far worse had it cut a tendon or nerves.  Fortunately today all I have is a scar that is still healing, but otherwise full use.  I have been thinking of ways to further address this injury, either in a video or a post, so keep your eye out for it.  However I did loose 2 weeks of shop time.

Set back #2.  I got sick.  With the first set back, it put me into the holiday season.  Fortunately I planned on taking two weeks off from work.  The first week I planned on finishing my Christmas shopping and help where needed.  The second week I planned on spending time in the shop to get the drawers done.  I got one day in, then I got sick with the flu.  I am feeling better now, just in time to go back to work!

Fortunately, I am close to finishing the drawers, so I am hoping to have them done fairly soon now!  No more set backs!!! :D  After the drawers are complete, I have been thinking through the next couple projects.  I hope to get an update out on those soon.

On a personal note, I did make one New Year’s Resolution.  I have given up drinking pop.  At this point I have not had a drink of pop in a week.  It was a challenging week as going through caffeine withdraw while sick is absolutely not fun.  While it is a woodworking blog, I am going to use it to help keep me honest with keeping this resolution, so you may see an occasional update on this.

Until next time, go make something and stay safe!

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Video 4 – Cleaning Up Round Overs on Inside Corners

roundoverIn any of our woodworking projects, there are many details that we pay close attention to.  One that I do in every one of my projects is to take the time to clean-up round overs., especially on the inside corners.    The issue is that the spinning bit is not able to make a clean corner.  I like it to appear that the two sides forming the corner come together like a miter.  To do this I use a rasp and sandpaper to clean up the corner.  The end result results in very clean lines, no longer muddied up by the limitation of the router bit.  Check out the above video where I demonstrate the technique I use to accomplish this.

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SawdustNewbie’s 100th Blog Post!

Today I have reached a avatar_notext_wmmilestone on my blog, the 100th post!

When I started this blog nearly 4 years ago, I felt like a total newbie when it came to my woodworking.  I have looked back on some of my projects, some turned out well, others….. well they were a great learning experience!  :)  Awhile back I thought about changing the name of the blog to something not so “newbie”.  However, I took the time to reflect on what the purpose of this blog is for, what it means to me, and most importantly what it is for my readers.  This dt_boxblog is about trying new things, pushing ones skills, and making something out of nothing.  In a way, that is what a newbie is, someone who is trying something new to learn from it.  So regardless of my skill level, I feel that SawdustNewbie is still very relevant for what I am trying to accomplish.

So where do I go from here?  Most definitely I will continue trying new things, both in the shop and for the blog.  This includes more video!  I have a few ideas lined up for videos that will come in the near future, but if there is anything you want to see, post in the comments below.

english_layout_squareWhile I don’t want this, or any of my posts about making money, I do still think it is worthwhile, I have started looking into selling some projects I have made.  Any sales I make will go right back into my woodworking or this blog.   Currently I have a very small Etsy store, but I am exploring other avenues as well.

cradleFinally, but most importantly, thank you for taking the time to read my blog!  I enjoy my time in my shop and I find it encouraging that I am able to share my experiences so that you can enjoy time in your shop as well!  To all my readers a huge THANK YOU!  Looking forward to the next 100 posts!

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