LumberJocks

Of Tool Cabinets, Chewing Gum and Sealng Wax #10: Marking Tool Swap Fall 2018

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Bill Berklich posted 11-10-2018 12:41 AM 1093 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Other projects – Evolution of a Shop Vac cart Part 10 of Of Tool Cabinets, Chewing Gum and Sealng Wax series Part 11: A home for my Stanley 45 Irons »

Still not focusing on the Tool Cabinet, I joined the LJ Fall Swap. My first one and let me tell you the guys in the swap are expert. Knowing the everyone has most of the standard marking tools I looked around the shop and my eyes landed on a set of pinch sticks.

Just poplar stained with Dychem (for metalworking) and coated with Wattco. The sliders are just 3/4” square steel tube drilled and tapped. But a great starting point because I figured that most people don’t have/use them so it might be a good/useful tool.

My first design change was that I didn’t like how the thumb screw dug into the wood. One solution would have been a pad and another would have been an inlay of metal. Following that thought I decided to use an aluminum sandwich. I epoxied Purpleheart and Aluminum together then trimmed/cut them on the table saw.

That created a lot of heat which the epoxy didn’t like so the laminate failed. I finally figured out that I needed to wait 3 minutes between passes for the Aluminum to cool. I eventually got it right but … it burned the Purpleheart. I put my scraper to work pealing away burn marks, wood, and Aluminum.

Then sanded with 220, 320, and 600. I have to say the wagon vise was perfect for this kind of work. Add on 4 coats of Wattco, some wax and buffing and the sticks were done.

Next were the keepers. Square steel tube didn’t seem to be keeping with the spirit of the Swap and while not a competition I preferred to give some of my “best work”. Again looking around the shop I have a bunch of small scraps that I just can’t bear to toss.

Casting about in the scrap bin netted me Pink Ivory and Gaboon Ebony pieces and I pulled several brass plates that were originally slated for a dovetail plane (maybe later).

Some drilling

Then cutting, trimming, filing,

I decided that I REALLY hate those little brass screws. Ebony and Pink Ivory are really hard and I broke off multiple screws and had to re-fabricate parts several times.

Eventually I got to the sanding up through 3000grit then polishing and buffing,

And finally assembly – yippee!!

Overall they turned out pretty well. And thanks to the LJ’ers that encouraged me on my first attempt.

-- Bill - Rochester MI



9 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

3871 posts in 999 days


#1 posted 11-10-2018 01:48 AM

Those little brass screws really are a pain. I always test drill pilot holes in a scrap of the same wood and then test them. I usually end up with holes that are ever so slightly over size, then put CA and sawdust into the hole, and screw in the screw before the CA sets.

Then when I realize I put the part on backwards, I get to refabricate the whole thing, rather than just part of it!

Great job, Bill!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

3073 posts in 991 days


#2 posted 11-10-2018 02:17 AM

Brass screws just plain suck. Always tap with them, and I usually send a steel screw most of the way home, pull it out, then do the brass one. We’ve gotten used to seeing them, and thinking yeah, need brass, but as a metal for what we do with them in a screw shape is just wrong, way too soft.

Looks like you came, you saw, you thought, then you conquered. Awesome job on the sticks, and the set pieces. Probably a lot of names, I’ve always called them adjustable story sticks.

Great post, made clear with great pics, thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View mikeacg's profile

mikeacg

937 posts in 1474 days


#3 posted 11-10-2018 02:23 AM

Thanks for posting this! Nice to see how you accomplished this project!!!
Be sure to add 2018 Marking Tools Swap in your tags…

-- Mike, A Yooper with a drawl, http://www.artcentergraphics.com

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

827 posts in 805 days


#4 posted 11-10-2018 02:34 AM



Those little brass screws really are a pain. I always test drill pilot holes in a scrap of the same wood and then test them. I usually end up with holes that are ever so slightly over size, then put CA and sawdust into the hole, and screw in the screw before the CA sets.

Then when I realize I put the part on backwards, I get to refabricate the whole thing, rather than just part of it!

Great job, Bill!

- Dave Polaschek

Were you watching over my shoulder ;-) I just about gave up on them at least three times. Lucky for Dave or he would have been stuck with just the gorilla sized marking gauge.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View stefang's profile

stefang

16705 posts in 3751 days


#5 posted 11-10-2018 02:09 PM

Wonderful work on this project Bill and thanks for the blog describing a great way to make them. This was a very thoughtful swap project. Pinch sticks as you call them are a really valuable and accurate measuring tool in the shop and I use them all the time, except mine are spur of the moment quick fixes. I would love to have some like you made, so if I’m not too lazy I might just the inspiration to take the time to make a decent pair.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

875 posts in 2375 days


#6 posted 11-10-2018 06:45 PM

Bill, these look amazing! I have the hardest time thinking about that much effort going into a small project, but then I see the outcomes and realize the satisfaction you must feel. Excellent work.

-- A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

827 posts in 805 days


#7 posted 11-10-2018 07:22 PM



Bill, these look amazing! I have the hardest time thinking about that much effort going into a small project, but then I see the outcomes and realize the satisfaction you must feel. Excellent work.

- BroncoBrian

Me too. If it hadn’t been for the Swap and the support from other LJ’ers I would never have done it. And it is very satisfying.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

9924 posts in 1555 days


#8 posted 11-12-2018 08:12 PM

Wow, you SCRAPED the aluminum?! That’s some dedication right there!

I can’t tell you how much I love these sticks Bill. I must have a pair and I think your method is perfect. The wood lends a light weight, a nice feel and soft but firm tips that won’t scar your work while the Aluminum gives strength and rigidity and prevents the set screws from marring the wood.

Really glad you joined the swap and I hope to see you in many future ones. Your well-thought out designs and methodical execution are exactly the kinds of things we try to share out in the swaps with fellow craftsmen. Thanks for adding your knowledge and experience to the pool!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

827 posts in 805 days


#9 posted 11-12-2018 11:35 PM



Wow, you SCRAPED the aluminum?! That s some dedication right there!

- HokieKen

Yep I would not have tried it if it wasn’t for a friend at work who went to an Iron Scraping class in Ohio a couple of months ago. I figured that if he could scrap Iron ways I could probably scrap Aluminum. It worked great.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com