Hand Tool Journey

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Blog series by Airframer updated 10-13-2014 09:28 PM 45 parts 139999 reads 330 comments total

Part 1: Making the Hand Tool Commitment

01-31-2013 05:57 AM by Airframer | 9 comments »

So as I plan out my first “Real” workbench I have read dozens of articles, forum threads and blogs here and around the internet about the different bench styles and the build process for them. One common theme stood out and that was they all were made using mostly if not only hand tools. While I am still relatively young at 35 I am pretty old fashioned. I love the thought that even in this day and age of instant gratification and robot workers we still have craftsmen out ther...

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Part 2: Planes, Pains and Automobiles..

02-03-2013 08:50 AM by Airframer | 8 comments »

As I mentioned in the first post of this series. I already own 1 hand plane. It is a Buck Bros 6 1/2 block plane from Home Depot. I purchased this when I was building my first workbench to join 2 pieces of Pine stair tread to make up the top. I knew nothing of hand planes and how they worked and figured a plane was a plane. Well, it was soon evident that that wasn’t the case. This little guy was very difficult to work with. Only cut in the center of the blade and it took forev...

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Part 3: One down.. and the next set of victims

02-04-2013 04:11 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

I am not much of a fan of football so today’s game I could give fewer you know whats about. So I spent the day in the shop finishing up my cheepie plane tune up. I got the blade finally honed and sharp. I then sanded the paint off the sides since I had scratched it up a bit I also removed the paint from the area where the blade contacts the base. The back of the blade is bare but there is a coating on the top side which doesn’t seem to interfere with anything so I left that a...

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Part 4: I have officially fallen down the rabbit hole.. and the Misses has followed me!

02-07-2013 01:41 AM by Airframer | 1 comment »

It’s handtoolapalooza! Day before yesterday my wife finally read through some of my blog posts here and she asked me why I hadn’t told her about my hand tool decision. I told her I figured she wouldn’t be interested in what was going on in the garage.. Marriage lesson of the day.. never assume anything! She is really excited about it and is on board with it. She grew up with a mom who for a short time ran an antique store and frequently made trips into various hole in t...

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Part 5: Building My Beginning Set.. How am I doing so far?

02-12-2013 06:19 AM by Airframer | 1 comment »

When I last left you guys I had mentioned that I had “few” tools incoming from fleabay and elsewhere. Well they have been slowly trickling in all week and aside from a couple still outstanding I have the makings of what I am considering my student set of tools. I won’t bore you too much with the details and just get on with the pics and inventory listings.. First up are my hand planes so far. Most if not all of them require either just some sharpening or a complete ...

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Part 6: Handplane Madness.. And a New Saw

02-27-2013 06:58 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

It has been a while since I updated my tool blog and it is high time I did. There have been a few new aquisitions here at the Framer household that I need to share with you guys. First up is an Ebay find. I am in the need for a good backsaw for some tenon cuts on my workbench build. I searched all the newer brands and some of the cheaper selections and they were either WAY out of my price range or just looked cheap and I already have a cheap one so no thanks. Off to the bay I went an...

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Part 7: Stanley SW #3C Rehab.. The Before

03-31-2013 07:43 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

I picked up a Stanley no 3C on eBay last week for a whopping $10. It looked rough in the pics and not much was said about it but the price was right and it looked complete enough to get back into shape. I just got it out of the mail today and had my first look at it and to my surprise it is a Sweetheart model :D It has had the cap screw replaced with a bolt and the front knob looks like someone turned it from a broom handle and the tote is broken in 2 but over all this thing is really...

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Part 8: Stanley SW #3C Rehab.. The During

04-01-2013 03:03 PM by Airframer | 2 comments »

Since my last blog post on my #3C rehab I got everything broken down and soaking. I haven’t had time to go pick up my Evaporust yet so I decided to try and give my home made brew of cider vinegar and baking soda one more go. While that was soaking I started on the tote repair and looking for a new front knob in my “box o’ shame” aka my parts box of either poorly purchased planes or parts that got replaced… does everyone have a box like this or am I ju...

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Part 9: Stanley SW #3C Rehab.. The During Continued..

04-02-2013 04:25 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

I am down to waiting on paint to dry with this restoration. Here is a quick breakdown of todays events.. Scrub the base clean and prepped for paint. Now you can clearly see the patent markings.. Same for the frog.. Prime then paint… I don’t bother masking the areas that need lapping since they will all be sanded clean anyway. Saves time and leaves a cleaner line on the japanning from what I can tell. While that was drying outside I got ...

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Part 10: Stanley SW #3C Rehab.. Done!

04-08-2013 03:26 AM by Airframer | 17 comments »

FINALLY! I recieved my replacement SW frog on Friday and went to work getting it cleaned up and ready for installation today. Works great and the shavings you see are from the blade as I received it as I haven’t sharpened it yet! Just a refresher.. the before.. Annnnnnnd The After! Thanks for reading!

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Part 11: Crown Handle Replacement Surgery..

05-07-2013 01:35 AM by Airframer | 12 comments »

As mentioned in my Workbench Blog I was planning to replace the gents style handle on my 8” Crown Gents Dovetail Saw with a more suitable one. This will be more of a photo essay than anything but lets just say most the pics are of take 2 of this event lol. I am pretty happy with myself for getting the saw kerf cut free hand with nothing more than a scribe line and a HF flush cut saw :-) Sadly I was so “in the moment” that I forgot to take pics of the procedure. I hope ...

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Part 12: Crown Handle Replacement Surgery Done!

05-07-2013 08:11 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

Just finished it up and thought I would share a few more in progress pics that didn’t make it to the project page. Taking a BLO bath :-)

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Part 13: Shop Made Dovetail Layout Compass.. Part 1

05-10-2013 04:27 AM by Airframer | 0 comments »

OK, so after my successful handle replacement I have the confidence to try something I have wanted to build up for a while. I need a layout compass and have been planning this out in my head for about a month now. Today was a day of trial and error. I don’t have any real plans drawn so this is a “make it up as I go” project. I spent the morning piecing together the hinge portion of the compass. I found some plans online and scaled them down by about half so they wou...

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Part 14: Shop Made Dovetail Layout Compass.. Part 2

05-10-2013 03:17 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

Just a quick update.. I see a lot of views but no feedback.. I’m beginning to think this is a stupid idea but, I’m pushing forward anyway. I got the legs rough cut and ready to be mortised into the hinge. I also got the brass curve cut. The geometry of that thing is a bit confusing but I think once the legs are shaped and the mortise is in place for that to go through it will make more sense. Right now the curve doesn’t seem like it will want to go through the same spo...

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Part 15: Shop Made Dovetail Layout Compass.. Part 3

05-10-2013 09:52 PM by Airframer | 8 comments »

I’m pretty excited right now. I just finished attaching the legs to the hinge and so far nothing has fallen apart! From what I can tell the hardest part is behind me and now it is just a matter of shaping and fitting the adjuster arc to the legs. I also got the fine tuning nut built up and tapped. I still need to make an adjusting screw for the arc but that won’t take very long. Today at the OB appointment we were told that we will be induced on the 20th so only a week ...

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Part 16: Shop Made Dovetail Layout Compass.. Part 4.. Almost There..

05-12-2013 04:05 AM by Airframer | 10 comments »

Well I have a fully functioning Layout Compass now :D. All that is left is to do the shaping of the legs and some purtification of them. I am still working out the details of the purtification but in the end they should be pretty purty lol. All the pieces laid out with epoxy curing on the pins.. So today was filled with frustration and epoxy and a lot of brass dust. It started with cleaning up the mortise that the arc goes through and embedding the head of a copper rivet into the...

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Part 17: Shop Made Dovetail Layout Compass.. Part 5.. Bring Out Your Rasps!

05-12-2013 05:18 PM by Airframer | 12 comments »

Happy Mothers Day! Just a quick update this morning. I had planned on keeping this update till I was finished but I couldn’t help myself. I just finished rough cutting the legs and I am pretty excited to say the least. It is a HUGE relief to have that part behind me because all that is left is a lot of rasping, filing and sanding to get the final shapes done and the “Possible Catastrophic Failure” meter is very low from this point on. However the shaping will have to ...

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Part 18: Shop Made Dovetail Layout Compass.. Part 6.. Project Complete!

06-02-2013 09:33 PM by Airframer | 1 comment »

Just wanted to post a completed update to this chapter of the blog. Thanks for following along!

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Part 19: New Mallet No. 1

07-29-2013 09:20 PM by Airframer | 4 comments »

A few months ago I made a simple mallet out of an oak cut off and a 1” dowel. It has done a good job but has always been a bit on the light side and has started splitting on the top from trying to use it to chop some mortises. Well, last night it finally just gave up. One face is still usable but I think it’s time for it to retire.. I have been planning an upgrade ever since I finished the first one but never really had the motivation to put some other projects on hold...

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Part 20: New Mallet No. 2

07-30-2013 08:09 PM by Airframer | 3 comments »

Spent the night in with the family last night. Which was fine because I wanted to let the glue set a bit longer before doing anything that might stress the joints. So no progress made last night but got started early this morning. Took the head out of the clamps and cleaned up and flattened the top and bottom. Then using the string trick I figured out the angle for the faces to be cut at. Scored some nice deep lines for the cuts and got to cuttin’ Then turned my att...

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Part 21: New Mallet No. 3.. Advise Needed..

07-31-2013 07:49 PM by Airframer | 14 comments »

I had a bunch of errands to run today which have kept me out of the shop. I just now had a chance to get out there to maybe get some shaping done on the handle when I noticed an issue with the mallet head. It looks like some hairline separation of the glue joints have appeared since yesterday (or maybe earlier but I haven’t noticed them till just now). I am trying to figure out how to rectify this if it even needs rectifying. Here are some pics of what I am talking about… ...

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Part 22: Carvers Vise #1

11-24-2013 07:29 AM by Airframer | 11 comments »

This is something I have been planning on building for a few months now. I have been putting it to the side until today when I realized I could really use it right now for my layout swap item. While I was building my workbench I was searching the net for vises just to get some ideas and inspiration for the ones on the bench and I came across the Benchcrafted Carvers Vise. It looked pretty nifty but like many of their products I simply cannot justify the price when it can be made fr...

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Part 23: Carvers Vise #2

11-24-2013 08:32 PM by Airframer | 6 comments »

Late last night I ended with some small boards getting glued into larger boards. Well this morning while the little guy was sleeping I was able to get those out of the clamps and start getting them to final dimensions. I purposefully made the glue ups larger than needed to I can trim them to size and make up for any irregularities encountered during the glueup. First order was to simply clean them up 4 square.. Then I ripped the sides to get to final width (did a little of...

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Part 24: Carvers Vise #3

12-15-2013 01:34 AM by Airframer | 4 comments »

OK. Been a bit since I did some work on this but today I FINALLY found some shop time to get more work done. I managed to get the bulk of the joinery completed today which meant my first try at half blind dovetails and a second attempt at giant condor tails. Neither went masterfully but they all fit and hold nice and tight (despite how they look) and now I can start laying out and drilling for the screw and the glide rails. Gonna leave you with some pics.. they tell the story better...

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Part 25: Repairing my Stanley #19 Block Plane No.1..

01-01-2014 03:40 AM by Airframer | 10 comments »

This week I started restoring my what I thought was a Stanley #18 block plane that turned out to be a #19. That’s a good thing considering how hard to find they are and the fact I got this for under $20. Here is how it ended up.. The bad news is that while cleaning it up I needed to touch up the threads on the adjustable mouth. Luckily they are 1/4-20 so I got my tap out and started threading it in. I meat a bit of resistance and beyond my better judgement I decided to give i...

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Part 26: Hand Tool Journey #25: Repairing my Stanley #19 Block Plane No.2..

01-01-2014 05:08 PM by Airframer | 4 comments »

This morning I checked and the epoxy was cured so I went about cutting off the rod.. Then it was down to lapping the sole. I started with my XCourse DMT to get the rod flat to the sole.. Then I got one of my aluminum sanding bars and using spray adheisive attched some 100 grit sand paper then went to town on the sole till it was flat.. She ain’t pretty but she is smooth and flat. Then some rust preventative (love this stuff!) And now my #19 is no lo...

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Part 27: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #1.. What have we got here?

04-21-2014 03:47 PM by Airframer | 8 comments »

Just received a Sweetheart era #246 Miter Box. It is in decent working order but really needs a good cleaning to get everything moving like it should again. My original plan was to clean and be done with it but… like usual I can’t just leave well enough alone. Here is the state it arrived in.. Complete with the trip mechanism! Saw is in great shape with no obvious signs of pitting.. only the tote needs help. It also arrived with one of the 2 stop ...

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Part 28: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #2.. Tear Down..

04-21-2014 09:07 PM by Airframer | 7 comments »

Late last night while waiting for Game of Thrones to come on (don’t judge me!) I spend a couple hours taking this apart and separating all the parts in labeled bags. The 2 up rights were frozen in their bases and this is where everything went horribly wrong when I was taking apart my 358 so I wanted to be careful not to snap off the threaded end. Off to WallyWorld I went and returned with some Marvel Mystery Oil. Cut it 50/50 with some mineral spirits in a spray bottle, sp...

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Part 29: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #3.. Deck is good to go..

04-22-2014 11:52 PM by Airframer | 3 comments »

Progress today was slow but eventful. I mainly only have time in the morning during the boys morning nap to work on anything but luckily he decided on a long one today. Everything started out last night when I soaked the deck in some spray on CitriStrip in a tub. If you have never used this stuff before it rocks! Spray it on and let it do it’s thing overnight.. scrub with a wire brush and rinse.. Boom! Rust and paint free! HOWEVER.. after the rinse you need to work fast ...

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Part 30: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #4.. Watching Paint Dry and Other Things..

04-27-2014 12:30 AM by Airframer | 6 comments »

I have been lucky the last couple days with a few hours of shop time and good weather (a combo that nearly never happens lol). So I took full advantage of it and got to work again on the mitre box. Fist thing on the list was to get everything out of their respective Evaporust baths, rinsed and brushed clean. This took what felt like a week to get done due to the shear amount of parts but really it only took about 4 hours yesterday morning. Fresh out of the bath and rinsed with fresh...

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Part 31: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #5.. All Cleaned Up Just Waiting On Missing Parts..

04-28-2014 05:16 PM by Airframer | 15 comments »

I spent the day yesterday putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. I brought everything inside so I could referance my pics if needed and yes… it was very needed. Quite the jigsaw puzzle this thing is. Then I remembered I had forgotten to shine the brass bits. I had to kinda hurry through this because.. again.. Game of Thrones was coming on in half an hour lol. Left hasn’t been polished and the right is after a quick trip to the buffer.. I made sure to coat e...

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Part 32: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #6..Metal Fabbin it Up in Here..

04-29-2014 11:31 PM by Airframer | 8 comments »

So yesterday we left off with a clean and reassembled mitre box with a few missing accompaniments. I was also left with a broken drill press (piss.. damn you HF!!!!!!).. Anyhoo.. the drill press saga will come into play in a bit but first I needed to draw up some plans for the missing tree from a photo provided by a fellow LJ. I blew it up on my computer screen till it was scale to my ruler and started mapping it out on some graph paper ending up with this.. Now…. I he...

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Part 33: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #6.. Well Frack..

05-01-2014 12:23 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

So…. yesterday we stopped short of filling the stray hole and redrilling. Today I went about doing just that and well… The brazing rod is harder then the parent material and you know how drill bits want to follow the path of least resistance? Yeah….... So the new hole is wanting to wander and blow out the side and I called it quits. If I had a functional drill press this would not be an issue and I stand by my previous statement about working with metal… it̵...

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Part 34: Stanley SW #246 Miter Box Restoration #7.. Done Finally..

06-21-2014 06:12 PM by Airframer | 21 comments »

I finally finished my SW #246 Mitre Box. I still need to sharpen the saw up but everything is clean and ready to go so I am calling this done. I spent a lot of time trolling for the hard to find accessories and I was finally able to get this box 100% complete and am pretty excited about that. I tried to get a pic of the etch but it is too light to get on camera but it does have a SW etch still!

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Part 35: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #1.. Here we go again..

06-23-2014 03:21 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

This is a project that has been waiting long enough. I actually started tearing down this one months before I got my #246 in but had to wait on some replacement parts before continuing on. Here is what we have to work with.. a very rusty (as in every single freakin’ screw/bolt whatever is rusted frozen on the darn thing) Sweetheart No 358 Mitre Box with a broken and “fixed” swing arm assembly. During my initial attempt to tear this thing apart I br...

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Part 36: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #2... Partapalooza!

06-30-2014 02:11 AM by Airframer | 10 comments »

Well it took a week to get to it but I finally have everything clean and ready for masking and paint. First up was the main base it’s self. This thing was too rusty for the Citristrip to even make a dent in but it did clean up with a steel wire wheel and my angle grinder well enough. Any left over rust spots (mostly in those hard to get to crevasses) will get treated with some Rustoleum rust reformer before paint just to avoid any cancer from forming and spreading. The p...

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Part 37: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #3... Tape Bending and Paint

07-03-2014 04:11 AM by Airframer | 4 comments »

We found out this week that Grandma is not going to be in town next week so we arranged for her to take the boy for the night to spend some time with him before she leaves. So with the boy not at home, beautiful weather (mid 70’s and lots of sun) and the fact that the sun is up till after 10pm nowadays it was the perfect storm to get this guy painted before the weekend. First thing up was to tape off the parts that will be painted. I neglected to get any pics of the taped parts pre...

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Part 38: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #4... Made Some Sawdust Today..

07-06-2014 03:12 AM by Airframer | 6 comments »

I finally got off my arse and bagged up and labeled all the parts to clear off the bench top. Next up was to make a new wooden deck for the box. 1/2” Red Oak again. No clue what the old board is but it’s brittle as all hell now so it’s toast. And I got this far yesterday when 1/4 of the way through drilling the curved corners the board split along the grain…. Had to start from scratch with a new board. Oh well. Got to spend some time at the wood s...

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Part 39: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #5... Final Touches Before Assembly..

07-13-2014 03:47 AM by Airframer | 6 comments »

I might have had time today to completely assemble this but I wouldn’t have had time to take the detailed assembly pics I promised. That said there were a couple of things left to do pre-assembly that I was able to take care of this morning. I am hoping for an assembly day tomorrow so stay tuned for that. The first thing on tap this morning was to get my bench and parts/supplies organized for tomorrow. I got out only this boxes parts ao it brings the part count down a bit. ...

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Part 40: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #6... Assembly! Long Winded and A Ton of Pics..

07-14-2014 03:54 AM by Airframer | 16 comments »

(Inhales deeply) OK, lets get this going. Warning up front to anyone NOT curious about how one of these goes together you might want to scroll a bit to get to the money shots otherwise hang in there we have a bit to go over first. First things first here are what I typically use in any tool restoration during assembly. Nearly all of these deal with corrosion prevention in some form or another and that folks is the name of the game from this point on. We just spent a lot of sweat equi...

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Part 41: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #7... Cleaned Up The Saw Plate.. Is This Worth Saving?

07-19-2014 10:54 PM by Airframer | 8 comments »

I am going to present this question to the group. Saw restoration and sharpening is not an area I have really spent much time in yet so I am far from an expert. So I ask is this saw plate worth trying to sharpen up or should I explore other options? I WOULD like to use the original plate if it is at all usable but like I said.. I’m hoping some folks who are much more knowledgeable on the subject will help me out here. First some before pics… Post Evaporust.. ...

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Part 42: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #8...Getting a handle on things..

07-21-2014 01:39 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

Moving forward with the saw restoration.. The original tote on this saw is usable but ugly and pretty beat up so a new one is in order. TGIAG to the rescue! I have some slightly thicker than 4/4 African Mahogany on hand and it should make for a fine looking handle so why the heck not. The next few pics will be a “well duh” series for some of you but I have seen some questions asked around the forums about dimensioning wood with handplanes and I figured this was as go...

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Part 43: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #9... Saw Handle So Far..

07-30-2014 02:48 AM by Airframer | 5 comments »

I am not quite as far along as I had hoped I would be by now (I really wanted this wrapped up last weekend) but more important projects were on hand last weekend that took priority ( See the finished project if you are curious ) I did however, get the holes located and drilled and am about 50% of the way with the shaping. Thanks to LJ user Summerfi for pointing me to a link on how to locate the holes in an old saw plate ( here ). I took the premise for it and modified it in a way that ma...

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Part 44: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #10.. Calling it Done!

08-03-2014 03:03 AM by Airframer | 12 comments »

So… the box is finished as far as the restoration is concerned. The saw still needs sharpening and the whole box needs a fine tuning. I finished the handle today and finally got it all put back together for the first time in months. This guy is ready for another 100 years of service as far as I can tell. Here is some catch up on the handle build. I finished up the shaping and sanded the shaped areas and the outer edge up to 400 grit. Then I decided I wanted to add so...

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Part 45: Just A Quick Distraction.. Kids Handsaw Build #1

10-13-2014 09:28 PM by Airframer | 5 comments »

As I am smack in the middle of a workbench build for my 16 month old and we are currently waiting on a part to arrive in the mail I thought I would pass the time with a side project for the kid. We were strolling through our neighborhood dollar store the other day looking at Halloween decor and such when I came across a small 12” saw. As an actual usable saw I think I would have been taken for a ride with the $1 price tag but as a starting point for a junior sized “...

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